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ICBC Leasing orders 45 C919 passenger jets

(Xinhua)

10:07, October 20, 2011

SHANGHAI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- ICBC Leasing on Wednesday signed a deal with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) to buy 45 of the nation's homegrown C919 large passenger planes.

The financial leasing arm of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's largest lender, signed the new order as it sought to expand its fleet size to cash in on the country's rapidly growing demand for air services.

Neither side revealed the order's value.

ICBC Leasing currently has 70 passenger planes. In June, it ordered an additional 42 A320s from Airbus.

The deal is also a boost for COMAC as the newcomer looks to compete with dominant passenger plane makers Airbus and Boeing to win a slice of the international aviation market share.

At the Zhuhai Airshow last year, COMAC received its first orders for a total of 100 C919s from Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, CDB Leasing and GE Capital Aviation Services.

COMAC has said it will develop both 168-seat and 156-seat models of the jet, with more models to be developed in the future.

It has also said that test flights for the single-aisle C919 are scheduled for 2014, and delivery is slated for 2016.

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