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|Saturday, February 17, 2001, updated at 10:56(GMT+8)|
China, Canada Cooperate on Feeder Flight Pilot TrainingThe Sino-Canadian Qingdao Feisheng International Training Limited Corporation will finish its construction work in March this year, and the project is expected to become operational this July.
The Qingdao-based joint venture, held by the Canadian Bombardier Inc., Shandong Airlines and the Flight Training Device (Mauritius) Ltd., will mainly provide pilot training for Bombardier 's CRJ regional jets.
The total investment is around US$15 million, with 6 million for construction work and accessory equipment. The first CRJ-200 jet simulator is coming this June.
Robert E. Brown, president and chief executive officer of the Bombardier Inc, said while visiting the construction site, "The Asia Pacific region, China in particular, is now playing an increasingly important role in the world's regional flight market. We are happy to be one party of the joint venture."
Sun Dehan, president of Shandong Airlines, was confident in the corporation's future, believing the training program would provide the Asian countries with more regional airline pilots. At the same time he suggested Bombardier set up a maintenance and service center in Qingdao as well, thus facilitating its business expansion in Asia.
Shandong Airlines has bought five CRJ-200 jets and four Challenger 604 business jets, with a letter of intent for another ten CRJ-700 jets. Shandong Airlines has so far been Bombardier's largest client in China.
"We decided to buy so many regional jets because we have predicted a large potential regional flight market after China's accession to the World Trade Organization," Sun said.
Bombardier is one of the world's top three regional jet producers. So far, United Airlines of China, East China Airlines, and Chang'an Airlines in northwest China's Shaanxi Province have also forged business ties with Bombardier. Altogether 14 Bombardier regional flights and business jets are now operating in the country.
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