China’s C919 Commercial Jet Aspirations Are Overblown and No Threat to Boeing or Airbus, Washington Think Tank Finds (excerpt)
(Source: South China Morning Post; published Dec. 10, 2020)
By Amanda Lee
BEIJING --- [China’s] plan to make its own commercial aircraft to break up the duopoly of Boeing and Airbus remains a costly pipe dream, according to a Washington-based think tank.

While Beijing has pumped at least US$45 billion into the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) to make commercial planes, including the C919 passenger jet, the odds that China can make the project a success “are between slim and none”, said Scott Kennedy, a senior adviser at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies who is responsible for the research.

“Comac has received massive state funding and global attention, but it is not in the same league as the world’s top commercial aircraft manufacturers – Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier,” Kennedy said in a note published on Monday. Comac is not even as capable as its Russian counterparts, including Ilyushin, Sukhoi, and Tupolev, which have more advanced technology but have still struggled commercially, he noted.

The findings were the result of more than two years of research, including a field visit to the Comac factory in Shanghai, said Kennedy, who is also the trustee chair in Chinese business and economics at the think tank. The research results, in the form of a video and blog, were published on Monday.

This followed a Reuters report late last month saying that the US Department of Commerce had drafted a list of 89 Chinese and 28 Russian companies, including Comac, that the United States determined were “military end-users” – a designation that means US suppliers must request a licence to sell products to them. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the SCMP website.

Click here for the “China’s COMAC: An Aerospace Minor Leaguer,” on the CSIS website.


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