Comac plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with low-cost carrier Ryanair to co-operate on the Chinese airframer's C919 narrowbody, in a move that Comac hopes will lead to orders.

They will sign the agreement on 21 June at Comac's new European office in Paris, which will be officially established on 19 June, said a Comac official.

Calling the deal a "market co-operation agreement", the official said: "They [Ryanair] are an airline while we are an aircraft manufacturer. We hope to understand their needs and to incorporate them into the design of the C919."

Comac is developing the C919, which is scheduled to enter service in 2016. The company is aiming to get the aircraft certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency so it can be marketed overseas.

Asked if the agreement with Ryanair could lead to orders for the C919, the Comac official said: "Of course we hope to work in that direction." However, he could not comment on how likely this is to happen, or how many aircraft Ryanair could order.

"We do, however, hope to give them the product they want," he added.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news