Friday, September 26, 2008

CEO: Airbus hopes to join in China's large plane project

Airbus hopes to join in China's large plane project, said Thomas Enders, chief executive officer of the world's leading aircraft manufacturer, in Tianjin on Friday.

"I hope so," said Enders, who is in this north China port city for the Sept. 27-28 Summer Davos forum, in response to a Xinhua question on whether Airbus will join in the Chinese project that aims to develop and market homemade large passenger aircraft.

Airbus doesn't see the Chinese project as a threat and is not afraid of possible competition, the CEO added.

"Competition is always a good thing, it makes us nimble and innovative," he told the press.

The Chinese market is expected to be as important as the U.S. and European markets in the next 20 or 30 years, and one of Airbus' future strategies is to enhance cooperation with China, said Enders.

China set up its first ever jumbo passenger aircraft company in Shanghai in May, as a major step in its large jet program. The newly-established company, named Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. , is expected to give the country the capacity of building aircraft with a take-off weight of more than 100 tons, or planes with more than 150 seats.

Jin Zhuanglong, the company's general manager, told Xinhua earlier that "it is too early to set a timetable or make development strategy," adding that the CACC will pose no threat to jet-making giants like Boeing and Airbus.

According to Jin, China welcomes cooperation from foreign companies in the development of the new aircraft. However, the goals of the CACC for the first few years will be establishing an operating system and training talents.

The Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Factory and the First Aircraft Institute of AVIC I, which participated in the development and manufacture of the country's first homegrown regional jet ARJ21-700, have joined the CACC, whose establishment was approved in February 2007 by the State Council, China's Cabinet.


No comments: