ZHUHAI, China --- AVIC I Commercial Aircraft Co. Ltd. (ACAC) of China today signed a cooperative Letter of Intent with GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) selecting GE's CF34-10A engine to power the ARJ21 regional jet now in development.
ACAC and GEAE see a potential market for 500 ARJ21s over the next 20 years, representing a potential value to GE of $3 billion.
Development of the ARJ21 represents the next phase in China's rapid expansion of its aviation market. Fueled by the country's tremendous economic growth over the past decade, revenue passenger miles have increased significantly. There are currently 50 new airports scheduled for construction within China over the next five years to meet the higher demand. As a result, feeder traffic -- the segment serviced by regional jets -- could grow 12% annually over the next 20 years.
The CF34-10A engine, which has been selected to power both the 79-passenger and the 99-passenger ARJ21 aircraft, is part of GE's best-selling CF34 family for regional jets. To date, GEAE has received firm orders for more than 5,600 CF34 engines, of which about 1,400 have been delivered.
The ARJ21 is being designed to meet the demanding conditions of China's diverse environment, specifically the hot temperature and high altitude conditions experienced on many routes in Western China. The advanced technology of the CF34-10A is ideally suited to this aircraft. The engine will not only provide the thrust capability to meet aircraft performance requirements, but will also give customers low-cost operations with a highly reliable, easily maintainable propulsion system.
"The ARJ21 program is an outstanding achievement for China, and we are honored to be a part of it," said David Joyce, general manager of Small Commercial Engine Programs at GEAE. "GE has been doing business in China for nearly 100 years, and our commitment to China has never been stronger: working together to develop great products for global markets. We're committed to working with AVIC I to help ensure the long-term success of this program and the continued growth of Chinese aviation."
GE began working with Chinese industry in 1910, when the first GE light bulb was produced there. Today, the relationship encompasses advanced research and development, including: a new 38,000-square-meter facility in Shanghai; joint ventures in high technology industries such as medical systems, plastics and lighting products; and aircraft engine maintenance facilities, training, and component manufacturing. GE has formed more than 30 different joint ventures and employs more than 9,000 people in China, representing a $1.5 billion investment.
GEAE, a division of General Electric Company, is the world's leading manufacturer of jet engines for military and civil aircraft, including engines produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma Moteurs of France and GE. GEAE also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine and industrial applications. In addition, GEAE provides comprehensive maintenance support, through its GE Engine Services operation, for GE and non-GE jet engines in service throughout the world.
-ends- China ACAC Selects General Electric to Power ARJ21 Regional Jet