COMAC signs four agreements with companies at Beijing expo
The C919, China's first home developed large passenger plane, won another 130 orders from four domestic leasing companies on Tuesday, the largest number of orders since the successful debut flight of the aircraft in May.
The orders came from China Nuclear E&C Group, Huabao Leasing, AVIC International Leasing Co Ltd, and ABC Financial Leasing Co Ltd. So far, the C919 has received 730 orders from 27 Chinese and overseas customers.
Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd, the manufacturer of the C919, signed agreements with the four companies at the international air show in Beijing.
"The purchase of the C919 will help us to promote the brand image of the company and support our operation of a large-scale fleet," said Wang Yigang, CEO of ABC Financial Leasing.
"We plan to mainly cooperate with customers of the countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, and continue to support the growth of China's civil aviation industry."
In 2012, ABC Financial Leasing signed an agreement with COMAC to purchase 45 C919 aircraft, and it became the first company to make additional orders after the maiden flight of the jet.
Dang Jianhong, deputy director of the marketing department at COMAC, said the European Aviation Safety Agency has processed the C919's application of its airworthiness in Europe. Besides, he said COMAC is in full-scale cooperation with China Eastern to prepare for the delivery of the first aircraft to the airline.
"Along with the new achievements we constantly make, we will make full efforts to expand the domestic market, and develop the overseas market at a steady pace. The trust and support of our customers have urged us to keep moving forward. We will try our best to develop the aircraft and deliver them to our customers soon," he said.
Meanwhile, COMAC said it is currently undertaking research and development of a wide-body aircraft together with Russia's United Aircraft Corp, and the two sides have sent their R&D teams to each other's country.
Lin Zhijie, an aviation industry analyst and columnist at Carnoc.com, one of China's largest civil aviation web portals, said the C919's entry to the market won't occur very soon. It is expected to go into operation between 2020 and 2022.