The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (Comac) or China Commercial Aircraft, was established in Shanghai in May-2008 to develop passenger aircraft with capacity of over 150 passengers to reduce the country's reliance on imports from Boeing and Airbus. Comac’s shareholders include AVIC I and AVIC II, the Shanghai Municipal Government and the Chinese central government.
Comac is marketing the ARJ21 developed by AVIC I, but is specifically engaged in the development of the 168-190 seat C919, which is expected to enter flight testing in 2014 and enter commercial service in 2016. Both programmes are supported by Western aerospace companies including General Electric, Rockwell Collins, and Honeywell.
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As new markets open up, the major OEMs Airbus and Boeing are seemingly happily ceding part of the market to the smaller manufacturers. Bombardier with its CSeries and now Embraer with its second generation E-Jets are equally content to take advantage of any opening. Others, like the Sukhoi, along with COMAC, Antonov and Mitsubishi, are also moving to occupy some of the vacuum.
Paris smiled on Embraer this month. Despite Bombardier's four year lead on Embraer in launching its new aircraft family, Embraer’s second generation E-Jets have already matched the CSeries in the order books. The Brazilian manufacturer formally launched the E-Jets E2 programme at the Paris Air Show. It has already booked 215 orders, commitments and letters of intent for the re-worked aircraft, from seven different customers, just bettering the CSeries’ total of 214 firm orders and commitments.
Embraer's track record has helped and most of the orders were from one source. SkyWest Airlines, the largest regional carrier in the US, announced a firm order for 100 aircraft, as well as another 100 purchase rights. This is in addition to SkyWest’s previous order in May-2013 for up to 200 current generation E-175 aircraft.
The latest round of Ryanair's aircraft purchase negotiations through the press may indicate a troubling truth for the carrier: its business is not wanted.
For a potential 300 aircraft order, which has been lingering since 2009, Ryanair wants the favourable pricing it secured in 2002 for 100 B737s. Back then the industry was at rock bottom and Boeing was eager to sign for 100 aircraft. Now, even after a recent depression and possibly entering a second, narrowbody backlogs are hearty – and more diverse. Boeing has acknowledged its market outlooks from the last decade did not foresee the rapid growth of LCCs, and especially from those based in Asia Pacific. This larger pool gives airframers more potential customers to woo, and the customers may pay Boeing more than whatever deep discount Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary extracts, or they may pay the exact same but be more pleasant to do business with.
Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline, posted results that missed expectations in its fiscal first quarter as higher fuel costs weighed on the net result.
No one is commenting but American is working on a narrowbody replacement programme, following Delta and United's similar moves in the past two years. The potential 250 to 280-aircraft order would be a world record and could be valued at as much as USD22 billion likely financed by lessors or by heavy financing assistance given the shape of American’s balance sheet.
Ryanair has taken a bold first step towards becoming a customer for Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China’s (COMAC) new C919. At the Paris Air Show, the carrier signed an MoU to participate in discussions on the development of a version of the C919 for Ryanair.
GECAS displaced ILFC as the aircraft lessor with the largest fleet size and asset value in 2010. Norman Liu spoke exclusively to CAPA about the company's success and the conditions of today's market.
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