China appears to have done a back-flip when it comes to its policy towards airline start-ups.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) last December announced it would refrain from granting air operator’s certificates (AOC) to start-ups planning to launch in 2009.
But a report today in state-run China Daily, quotes unidentified CAAC officials in Xian, as saying start-ups that plan to operate Chinese-made aircraft will find it easier to get an AOC.
The Chinese-made aircraft cited in the article are Xian Aircraft’s MA60 turboprop and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China’s (Comac) ARJ21 regional jet.
Chinese aircraft-makers have had little success in selling aircraft in China because Airbus and Boeing have established strong relationships with the Chinese carriers and have established strong customer support systems. The Chinese aircraft-makers, based on past mistakes, have a relatively poor reputation for customer support.
This move by the CAAC appears to be a concerted push by the government to get local carriers to seriously look at buying the local product.
Xian Aircraft, which makes the MA60, literally has MA60s parked at its Yanliang airport base because it has too few customers. Comac has yet to deliver an aircraft but it too will be ramping up production soon.