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China establishes company to make its own jumbo jets

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BEIJING — China has established a homegrown company to make passenger jumbo jets, state media reported Sunday _ a step forward in the country's quest to become less dependent on Boeing and Airbus.

China Commercial Aircraft Co. was established in Shanghai with registered capital of 19 billion yuan $2.7 billion, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

It said the central government and the Shanghai government are among the major shareholders, as are China's two main aircraft manufacturing and servicing companies, China Aviation Industry Corp. I and China Aviation Industry Corp. II, which were split off from state-owned China Aviation Industry Corp. in 1999.

Europe's Airbus has forecast that China's domestic market will increase fivefold by 2026. Airbus and Chicago-based rival Boeing dominate the market for commercial airplanes carrying 100 or more people.

Xinhua said Commercial Aircraft Co. will be able to make planes with more than 150 seats.

General manager Jin Zhuanglong said in a Xinhua interview that it was too early to say when a Chinese-developed jumbo jet would be taking off, as it would take a long time to develop homegrown talent and do research.

"According to the development history of Airbus and Boeing, the development and success of civil planes cannot be realized by relying on one or two generations," he said.