China Unveils its First Domestically Produced Aircraft
China’s biggest financial leasing company ICBC Financial Leasing Co. is promoting the sales of the domestically built C919 narrow body aircraft the is being produced by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China. The first prototype of the C919 is to be used for test flights was taken off the assembly on Monday at the COMAC’s Shanghai factory.
ICBC Financial Leasing is the C919 largest individual launching client and have placed 45 orders, but its chairman Cong Lin said it will be taking an active part in the promotion of the aircraft internationally when the two sides signed a strategic agreement during he China Aviation Expo in Beijing. Cong also said that its foreign clients already expressed interest in ordering the C919 after Bangkok based City Airways signed an option to order ten of the aircraft through ICBC Financial Leasing. City Airways order only shows the international market reception to the Chinese made aircraft.
The head of the aviation finance at ICBC Financial Leasing Jiang Bo, stated that by having a established network of around 40 overseas clients across six continents gives the company a strong advantage in promoting the C919 internationally. Jiang said the leasing company’s international talents are offering financial and consultancy services to overseas clients in Beijing and Ireland an important center for global aircraft leasing industry. The company is also providing financial solutions to other C919 clients. COMAC focused on the sales on the C919 at home and in the Asia Pacific and Africa and he company is expecting to expand quickly into other markets. COMAC will also include the promotion of the C919 within the global marketing activities, but should be realistic and patient.
The C919 can be a hard sell globally as it’s still only in the test flight stage along with many months of testing ahead before the aircraft can start being built in numbers and to be delivered. Industry insiders confirmed that the potential international clients are hesitant and suggested that the COMAC is to slow with its global marketing.