A new company will be set up to take charge of the country's large commercial plane project, insiders have said.
The new company is likely to be named after the current two major manufacturers - China Aviation Industry Corp I (AVIC I) and AVIC II - to become AVIC III, said a source who did not want to be named.
The plan is the latest sign that the country is forging ahead with its ambitious plan to design and manufacture a homegrown jumbo jet.
The State Council, the Cabinet, approved the project in February; and insiders told China Daily the next month that the aircraft is expected to take off by 2020.
The source said the chief of the new company has been chosen, but declined to reveal the name. The source only said the person has worked with AVIC I and the State Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND).
Both the COSTIND and the National Development and Reform Commission declined to comment yesterday.
But on Sunday, Sun Laiyan, deputy director of the COSTIND, said in an online interview at www.gov.cn that a detailed plan to implement the project would be "announced soon".
Earlier, Fu Shula, the CEO of China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Company, said the project will be based on international collaboration - as is common globally - and the nation will look for risk-sharing partners worldwide.
In China, large planes refer to aircraft with more than 150 seats; and currently, only the United States, Europe and Russia are capable of manufacturing them.
The country's indigenously-developed regional jet - with fewer than 100 seats - called ARJ21, is in final assembly stage.
The first delivery is scheduled for the latter half of 2009 and it has already won 71 orders.
(China Daily September 20, 2007)