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China flies high at air show

[ Info Diffusion:This station | Time:2018-01-05 | Hits:2998 ]


Deals involving Chinese plane makers, airlines and promoters soared at Britain's largest aviation event


Chinese companies grabbed the headlines in the first two days of the Farnborough International AirShow 2016, the UK's biggest aviation event. Chinese plane makers and airlines bagged orders worth over $10 billion as well as a deal to help stage an international air show in Chengdu in 2019.

On July 12, plane manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corp of China won two separate orders for a total of 90 of its ARJ21 regional passenger aircraft - one deal for 60 of the planes is potentially worth $2.3 billion while an amount was not given for the other order.

China flies high at air show

A model of a c919 is displayed at the Farnborough Airshow. Angus Mcneice / China Daily

COMAC received an order for 30 of its ARJ21s and an option for 30 more from Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing Group, representing the largest single order COMAC has received for the domestically-built jet, which carries about 90 passengers. The planes will be leased to an unnamed Indonesian airline that one of leasing company's shareholders, Friedmann Pacific Asset Management, invests in.

In another deal, AVIC Leasing, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, placed an order with COMAC for 30 of the ARJ21 jets.

Meanwhile, organizers of the UK's biggest military and civil aviation event, held July 11 to 17, signed an agreement on the show's opening day with representatives from Chengdu to launch a air show in China in late 2019.

The Sichuan International Air Show will bring together 300 to 400 exhibitors from within the civil and commercial aerospace industry and help demonstrate how companies can become involved in the Chinese market. Farnborough International, organizers of Britain's largest biennial air show, will supply consultancy services along with the EU Project Innovation Centre.

"The opportunity to host the Sichuan International Air Show in such a prime location in the heart of Chengdu will make the event even more attractive for international participants," Farnborough International AirShow Commercial Director Amanda Stainer said from the One Belt One Sky conference.

Plans for a biennial air show in Sichuan were first announced at the International Paris Air Show last year. and the inaugural event was originally scheduled for 2017. However, organizers now aim to bring the event in line with the completion of a new international airport in Chengdu in 2019. The air show will take place at the two-terminal, six-runway Chengdu Tianfu International Airport, scheduled to begin operations the following year.

Farnborough International signed a nonbinding agreement on July 11 with EU Project Innovation Center and the Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone, saying the event will showcase COMAC, AVIC, Sichuan Airlines, Haite Group, Sigma Components and other state representatives' supply chains.

The Sichuan air show will take place over five days in September. Organizers aim to welcome 30,000 visitors to three trade days and 100,000 visitors over two days open to the public. Between 60 and 70 aircraft could take part in flying displays while 60 will be on static display.

The air show will offer an opportunity for industry players looking to enter or expand in the growing Chinese market. China is the world's second-largest aviation market and is expected to become the largest within the next decade, according to a report by aircraft manufacturing giant Airbus. Boeing predicts that Chinese airlines will need nearly 6,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years, and plans are in place for the addition of 56 new airports countrywide.

On July 11, China's Xiamen Airlines signed an agreement to purchase up to 30 Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft, worth as much as $3.39 billion at current prices.

Boeing says Donghai Airlines signaled its intention to buy 25 Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets and five 787-9 Dreamliners, an agreement that could be worth as much as $4 billion. It's part of Donghai's plan to transition from being a cargo carrier to a passenger airline.

Wong Cho-bau, chairman of Donghai, said in a statement: "Under China's Belt and Road Initiative, we will accelerate our fleet expansion plan to satisfy the rapidly growing air travel market and help build our home base at Shenzhen as the transportation hub for southern China."

At the air show on July 11, Airbus China CEO Chen Juming said the economic center of the aviation industry has been "shifting eastward" over the past 20 years.

"Half of our orders are from Asia, and half of Asia's orders come from China," Chen said from Farnborough. "The Chinese market is increasingly prominent among aviation manufacturers."

Airbus, a multinational aircraft manufacturing
giant based in France, released its Global Market Forecast on July 11. The report predicts the world will need 33,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft worth $5.2 trillion over the next 20 years, to keep up with global traffic growth driven in large part by expanding aviation markets in Asia.

"China will soon be the world's biggest aviation market," says John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer for customers. "We are ramping up production to meet market demand for our leading aircraft products."

In a separate report, Boeing predicts that 15,130 new aircraft would be sent to Asia over the next 20 years, making it the leading region in terms of orders.