November 4, 2008

China Says Jumbo Jets

China says its first indigenous jumbo jet will be airborne in about seven years.

The target date will coincide with the start of China's 13th Five-Year Plan in 2015, China Daily reported Tuesday.

The newspaper reported this is the first time a timetable for the trunk liner project was made public since the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Limited was launched in May with an initial capital of $2.8 billion.

The company is responsible for the plane's assembly, marketing and after-sales service, the report said.

"We will finish the concept design and research on key technologies before 2010, and have the first plane roll off the production line before 2014," Miao Wei, vice minister of industry and information technology, was quoted as saying at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Forum 2008. He said China-made jumbo jets will be on the market between 2015 and 2020.

Despite current fall in domestic air passenger volume, Miao said, "In the next 10 years, China will need at least 1,000 new planes."