AIRSHOW CHINA: Comac, Bombardier agree to deepen co-operation

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Comac and Bombardier have signed a letter of intent to further their cooperation on exploring commonalities between the C919 and CSeries aircraft.

This signals the start of "phase two" of their collaboration, as first phase of work has been completed with benefits, say the airframers at Airshow China in Zhuhai.

The duo have been able to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes in product development and customer operating cost efficiencies with regards to cockpit interfaces, the electrical system, the development of aluminium-lithium standards and specifications as well as in technical publications.

Now, the airframers will "explore further possibilities" for commonalities between the C919 and CSeries, work together on marketing and sales, expand joint customer service capabilities, cooperate on product testing and certification as well as explore opportunities for collaboration on future product lines.

"By signing this LOI, Bombardier and Comac are deepening their commitment to create complementary opportunities for customers of the C919 and the CSeries commercial airliners to realize cost benefits from the operation of both aircraft families," say Bombardier.

Bombardier first announced its pact with Comac in March 2011 to examine potential cooperation with China on its CSeries progmme. The Canadian airframer is also acting as an advisor to Comac on its ARJ21 regional jet programme.

Comac has so far garnered 380 commitments for its C919 twinjet which is due to make its first flight in 2014 with deliveries to follow in 2016.