he end of the planned Airbus Industrie Asia/Aviation Industries of China (Avic) 100-seat AE31X airliner programme has been confirmed by the consortium's sales vice-president, John Leahy.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Leahy says that Chinese officials now agree with Airbus that the $2 billion project would be too costly and is not commercially viable.

"If it goes ahead, it cannot be with an all-new aircraft," he says. Airbus has been talking to airlines for some time about the proposed A319M5 - a version of the A319 with five fuselage frames removed - and it is possible that there could be a launch of the derivative at the Farnborough air show.

The aircraft has already been offered to carriers such as Northwest and Air Canada.

Source: Flight International