More state financial support for homegrown jumbo jet called for

11:25, March 27, 2010      

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The chief designer of China's first C919 jumbo jet urged authorities to establish a state fund to help boost the sales of homegrown airplanes, China Daily reported Saturday.

More financial support from the government would bolster the domestic aviation industry, which is facing fierce competition from foreign aircraft-makers, the newspaper quoted Wu Guanghui, vice president of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC), as saying.

Major domestic airlines such as Air China, China Eastern and China Southern, as well as Sichuan Airlines and Hainan Airlines, have expressed strong interest and support in buying his company's jumbo jet, Wu said.

The single-aisle jetliner is designed for short-to medium-haul flights of up to 5,555 kilometers. The draft design will be completed by this year and be put into production by next year.

The jumbo jet is slated to test fly in 2014 and be ready for deliveries after 2016, said the newspaper.

COMAC, founded in 2008 to take charge of the country's jumbo jet project, expects to sell 2,000 C919 planes at home and abroad in the next two decades, Wu said.

Source: Xinhua
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