PARIS: Comac expects more C919 orders this year

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Comac expects to finalise another batch of orders for its Comac C919 narrowbody this year, as the C919 cabin mock-up made its international debut yesterday at the Paris Air Show.

"We plan to sign a new batch of orders this year, but we won't be doing that at Paris," said Comac's president, Jin Zhuanglong. Comac has won up to 100 orders for the C919, which it announced at Airshow China in Zhuhai last November.

Jin indicated that new customers for the C919 could include foreign lessors, saying: "Besides airlines, lessors are also our potential customers. While we've been focusing our marketing activity within China, we also hope to market the aircraft to international customers."

Comac is displaying its full-scale C919 cabin mock-up at the show, in a move which Jin says signals Comac's commitment to the international market.

"We are actively meeting the governments and authorities while here to introduce our aircraft to them, since we eventually hope to market the C919 overseas," he added.

Comac aims to get the C919 certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency so it can sell the aircraft outside of China.

Development of the C919 is progressing "smoothly and ideally", said Jin. "We are in the detailed design phase and we hope to transition into the manufacturing phase this year," he added. The C919 is scheduled for first flight in 2014 and entry into service in 2016.