2012-07 -17 — The International Airlines Group (IAG) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) to “carefully consider” ordering the Chinese-produced C919 at the Farnborough Airshow.
According to the MOU, COMAC will set up a joint working group with IAG to conduct cooperation in the fields of technology and operation requirements, regulations, financing and client and product services for the C919.
According to a COMAC insider, IAG is the first non-Chinese airline to consider ordering the 150-seat aircraft. Last year, Ryanair signed a similar MOU with COMAC (ATW Daily News, Sept. 21, 2011).
COMAC has received 280 orders for the C919 from customers, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, China’s Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co., China Development Bank Leasing Co., ICBC Financial Leasing Co., China Aircraft Leasing Co., GE Capital Aviation Services and BOC Aviation.
The C919 entered the final design definition phase last year. Detailed design will be completed this year and the first flight is scheduled for 2014. Type certification is expected by 2016, followed by first delivery. By 2020, COMAC expects to produce 150 C919s annually.