Chinese maker announces 300 orders for new jetliner

BEIJING (AP) — A state-owned Chinese commercial jet manufacturer set up to try to compete with Boeing and Airbus says it has secured orders for 300 of its first long-range jetliners from Chinese leasing companies.

Orders for the single-aisle C919 were announced Thursday by Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China during the Zhuhai air show in southern China. COMAC also announced 30 orders for its shorter-range ARJ21 jet.

COMAC was established in 2008 as part of government efforts to transform China into a creator of profitable technologies and reduce reliance on foreign products.

The C919, which is meant to compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, has a layout of 158 to 168 seats and a range of 4,075 to 5,555 kilometers (2,530 to 3,450 miles), according to the manufacturer. The plane made its first flight in May 2017.

The latest buyers include leasing units of Bank of China Ltd., Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and China Construction Bank Ltd.

Before Thursday’s sales announcement, COMAC said it had received 815 orders for the C919 from 28 customers. Most are Chinese, but COMAC also has announced orders from GE Capital Aviation Services and Thailand’s City Airways.

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