China making aircraft sales push in Europe and USA

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Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) plans to establish an import and export company, a leasing business and an office in Europe and the USA to support its sales and marketing efforts.

Comac president Jin Zhuanglong announced at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Forum in Zhuhai that Comac will have a leasing business as well as an import and export business.

A senior official at Comac also tells ATI that Comac is looking to establish an office in Munich, Germany as well as an office in the USA.

He says sister company Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) already has offices in Los Angeles and Seattle so one possibility is that Comac may take on responsibility for those two offices or merge them and locate the merged entity somewhere else in the USA.

Munich is of interest because Lufthansa is based in Germany, says the official, adding that Comac has presented the ARJ21 regional jet to the carrier.

If Comac can sell the ARJ21 to a European and US carrier it would be significant because it would give EASA and the US FAA some impetus to look to certify China's 90- to 105-seat regional jet aircraft.

Comac was formed in May and is responsible for China's ARJ21 regional jet programme, which previously came under AVIC.

It was also formed to oversee a new programme that will produce a 150-seat commercial aircraft by 2020.