World Economy

China, Russia to Build Commercial Jet

China, Russia to Build Commercial JetChina, Russia to Build Commercial Jet

China and Russia on Monday completed the formal registration of a joint venture to build a wide-body jet, kick-starting full-scale development of a program aimed at competing with market leaders Boeing Co and Airbus SE.

State plane makers Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd (COMAC) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corp (UAC) said at a ceremony in Shanghai the venture would aim to build a “competitive long range wide-body commercial aircraft”, Reuters reported.

The announcement comes just weeks after COMAC successfully completed the maiden flight of its C919, China’s first home-grown narrow-body passenger jet. COMAC President Jin Zhuanglong said the two firms had decided to hold the establishment ceremony after the C919’s flight.

“This program is aimed at fulfilling future market demand,” he told reporters. “Our two countries, our two firms ... have created this joint venture to undertake responsibilities such as organization, research, management and implementation.”

The program will have a research center in Moscow and assembly line in Shanghai, he said, adding division of labor was still being discussed.

Guo Bozhi, general manager of COMAC’s wide-body department, said the venture would ask suppliers to bid for the contract to build the engine by year-end.

COMAC and UAC first announced the program in 2014. In November, they said they had set up a joint venture in Shanghai and unveiled a mock-up of the basic version of the jet that would have a range of up to 12,000 kilometers and seat 280 passengers.

UAC President Yuri Slyusar said the firms looked to complete the maiden flight and first delivery during 2025-2028, and aimed to take 10% of a market dominated by the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. Previously, they targeted a maiden flight in 2022 and delivery in or after 2025.


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