China to receive 71 orders for self-made jet

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Shanghai, Mar 9:  China is expected to receive a total of 71 orders for its first self-developed regional jet by next month, but the 6 billion yuan (4.8 million) project may take up to 15 years to break even, the jet's maker said on Friday.

AVICI Commercial Aircraft Co., the commercial jet arm of state-owned aircraft maker AVIC I, has already secured 41 firm orders for the ARJ21 model from domestic carriers, while a local leasing company will sign for 30 more in April, AVICI Commercial president Zheng Qiang told sources.

Domestic buyers of the jet include Shanghai Airlines Co. Ltd.

AVICI Commercial plans to start assembly of the ARJ21 model by the end of this month and will make 30 units a year, eventually rising to 50, Zheng said on the sidelines of a business event in Shanghai.

''This means it would take us 10 to 15 years to break even, as we need at least 400 orders to get there,'' he said.

Parent company AVIC I, a jet components supplier for Boeing Co. and Airbus, also makes military jets.

AVIC I controls four listed units, including Xian Aircraft International Corp., Guizhou Guihang Automotive Components, Hubei Aviation Precision Machinery Technology and Guizhou Liyuan Hydraulic Components.

Hafei Aviation Industry, a unit of rival AVIC II makes the ERJ-145 regional aircraft in partnership with Brazil's Embraer.


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