China has been conducting test flights on Comac aircraft for four years. When the market is forecast to grow, especially in China, the position of a new challenger may become strong over time.
At the same time At a time when the United States and Europe are continuing their 17-year trade war over how much they are getting to support Boeing and Airbus aircraft production in their home markets, China is aspiring to become the third aviation superpower.
Airbus and Boeing effectively control two of the world’s passenger aircraft manufacturing.
They have also bought their smaller challengers or acquired significant stakes in them.
EU and US last week, they agreed on the limits of the subsidy policy and signed a five-year agreement to reduce various import duties.
President of the United States Joe Biden said in Brussels on Tuesday that the EU and the US must now fight side by side against China, which does not compete internationally in a market economy similar to Western democracies.
On the contrary, in China, the state can support industries considered strategic in various ways almost indefinitely.
China’s the state-owned aircraft company Comac (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China) has been conducting test flights for the past four years on its 168-seat C919 narrow-body aircraft, a competitor in size to Airbus A320 and Boeing B737 aircraft.
The aircraft is believed to receive a permit to fly from the Chinese aviation authorities later this year, when the Chinese Communist Party turns 100.
C919 has received € 41-61 billion in state aid for product development, far more than Airbus and Boeing, says a researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies interviewed by AFP Scott Kennedy From Washington.
“China is playing Airbus and Boeing against each other and demanding technology transfers as part of the deals,” says market research firm Teal Group researcher Richard Aboulafia From Virginia to AFP.
China start challenging aircraft giants from behind, but the country has a good competitive position.
Aviation is expected to grow rapidly in the coming decades in Asia and China.
Chinese aviation has also recovered from the corona pandemic faster than many other countries, just like the rest of China’s economy.
Boeing predicts that the Chinese market will need 9,360 aircraft over the next 20 years.
The number corresponds to one-fifth of aircraft worldwide.
For now China is completely dependent on Airbus and Boeing aircraft, but China’s technological development is already thought to be easily at the level that making its own aircraft is no longer a problem.
But China is in no hurry.
The C919 was built largely with the help of European and American companies.
Only 14 of the machine’s 82 subcontractors are Chinese, AFP says.
The plane is heavier and uses more fuel than Airbus and Boeing.
Their weaknesses despite this, Comac already has 815 preliminary aircraft orders from 28 different airlines.
Most of the subscribers are Chinese.
There are only a few confirmed orders.
China Eastern Airlines was the first subscriber to the C919. It confirmed its orders for five aircraft in March this year.