China firm aims for the sky with Russia plane project: reports

26th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

A little-known Chinese firm hopes to set up a facility to assemble regional jets made by Russia's Sukhoi in a multi-billion-dollar deal, state media reported.

The privately-owned O-Bay Aircraft Co. has signed a "framework" agreement to assemble 100 Superjet 100 civil aircraft, the official Xinhua news agency and Global Times newspaper reported.

The two companies could not be immediately reached for comment.

The government of Zhengzhou city, where the potential facility could be located, said O-Bay would pay 20 billion yuan ($3.3 billion) for 100 Superjets but assemble them in China, according to a statement.

"If the next step of cooperation proceeds smoothly, at the fastest next year, Henan province has hope for the appearance of a Zhengzhou-made 100-seat passenger plane," said the statement posted on Zhengzhou's official microblog.

Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan province in central China.

US aviation giant Boeing said last year it expects China's commercial aircraft fleet to triple over the next two decades as the country's strong economic growth boosts air traffic. China will have a total of 6,450 commercial aircraft by 2032, it said.

Sukhoi, which also makes military aircraft, carries out final assembly for the Superjet 100 at a facility in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, according to its website.

It makes airframe parts both in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Novosibirsk, and components using composite materials at Voronezh.

© 2014 AFP

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