Chinese planemaker COMAC’s long journey to go global

by Admin
Chinese planemaker COMAC's long journey to go global

China’s aviation industry faces increasing export control restrictions from the US over alleged military ties.

This has prompted a sense of urgency for Beijing to develop its own parts, particularly the engine, to mitigate the risks of relying on western suppliers.


Mr Tse added that aside from production, certification is key to taking off internationally. 

It took Airbus and Embraer around 30 years to mature, and certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration is essential to succeeding.

China’s civil aviation authority is already making it a priority to obtain European certification for the C919 by next year.

Meanwhile, China still needs to purchase aircraft from foreign manufacturers to meet air travel demand, with Airbus in talks to sell over 100 wide body jets to Chinese airlines.

COMAC is expected to manufacture 150 C919s annually over the next five years, a small number compared with Airbus and Boeing, which delivered 735 and 528 respectively last year.

Chinese carriers have reportedly already put in more than 1,000 orders for the C919.

“Its production rate is not that ambitious. No doubt the aircraft will go international in the longer term, but in the shorter term, because of the low production rates, the focus is on the domestic market,” Mr Tse said.

He added that he expects the Belt and Road countries, which have good diplomatic relationships with China, to be the first international buyers of the C919 in the future.

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