The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) has signed a collaboration agreement with Boeing in the areas of research and work that will grow the commercial aviation industry in China.
In this first collaboration between the two manufacturers, a Boeing-Comac Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Center will be set up. The centre will work on research projects that will increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, Boeing said in a statement.
The centre, to be funded by both firms, will be housed at Comac's Civil Aviation Aircraft Technology Research Center in Beijing.
The firms will work with China-based universities and research institutes to conduct research in areas such as sustainable aviation biofuels and aviation connectivity infrastructure that will help reduce the industry's carbon emissions. Such projects will be selected and funded by Boeing and Comac.
The two firms have also agreed to hold annual leadership meetings and exchange commercial aviation market forecasts.
"Our new technology centre shows that two companies in a competitive industry can partner to make progress on important challenges that cannot be solved by one company alone," says Boeing CEO Jim Albaugh, adding that the partnership will "further sustainable growth and fuel efficiency for China's fast-growing aviation market".
While Comac is developing its own aircraft - the C919 jet and ARJ21 regional jet - Boeing has been providing commercial aircraft and services to China for 40 years.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China forecasts that passenger traffic in the country will pass the 300 million mark this year and will hit 1.5 billion passengers in 2030. Boeing estimates that Chinese airlines will need to buy 5,000 new aircraft by 2030 to meet the country's demand.