Fairchild Dornier says it remains in discussion with China Aviation Industry Corp II (AVIC II) on the placement of more regional jet subcontracting work in China. It is meanwhile awaiting a decision by AVIC II on the selection of a foreign partner for a new regional jet aircraft that the Chinese company hopes to develop.

Barry Eccleston, the US/German manufacturer's executive vice-president for business development, speaking at the show yesterday says that unspecified new work is being offered to AVIC II on the 328JET and 728. "These are under discussion at the moment," Eccleston says. AVIC II already is involved in making wing fairings for the 328JET. The 728 is due to roll out next month (see story Page 13).

AVIC II, one of China's two main state-owned manufacturing giants, is meanwhile hoping to build a 30-50-seat regional jet family of its own and has said it will select a foreign partner by the end of next month. Fairchild Dornier is awaiting the decision along with rival manufacturers Bombardier and Embraer.

China is seen as the biggest market in Asia for regional jet sales over the next 20 years. Fairchild Dornier broke into the market in 1999 with the sale of 19 328JETs to fast-growing Hainan Airlines.

The carrier has since signed paperwork for 21 more of the type but aircraft deliveries are being held up by the lack of an import licence from the Chinese government. Bombardier and Embraer also have deals that are being held up in China by regulatory authorities.

Source: Flight Daily News