China's first ever jumbo passenger aircraft company was officially inaugurated in Shanghai on Sunday.
The company, named Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd.(CACC), will be responsible for researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing the homegrown large passenger aircraft.
Some domestic airline companies, foreign suppliers, and representatives from international aviation producers including Boeing and Airbus attended the inauguration ceremony.
The CACC has a registered capital of 19 billion yuan (2.7 billion U.S. dollars). The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission alone invests 6 billion yuan, becoming the biggest shareholder.
Shareholders of the new company also include China Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I), the country's largest aircraft producer, and China Aviation Industry Corporation II (AVIC II).
Zhang Qingwei, minister of then State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, was appointed the board chairman.
Jin Zhuanglong, the company's general manager, told Xinhua that "It is too early to set a timetable or make development strategy at the very beginning." adding that it will take a long time for the company to train talents and do research.
"Since large aircraft can not be made in one or two days, CACC will pose no threat to jumbo jet-makers like Boeing and Airbus." Jin said.
Jin added that China is to make full use of worldwide resources to develop the aircraft, and welcome cooperation from foreign companies.
According to Jin, CACC's goals within the first few years include finishing delivery and maiden flight of ARJ21 aircraft, establishing an operating system and training talents.
Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Factory and the First Aircraft Institute of AVIC I, which participated in producing the country's first homegrown regional jet ARJ21-700, joined the newly established CACC.
ARJ21-700 rolled off the production line in Shanghai last December, and will start its maiden flight in upcoming Autumn.
Establishment of CACC was approved in February 2007 by the State Council, China's Cabinet. This was to make the country capable of building aircraft with a take-off weight of more than 100 tonnes, or planes with more than 150 seats.
(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2008)