AVIC I Commercial Aircraft (ACAC) of China today signed a co-operative Letter of Intent with GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) selecting GE’s CF34-10A engine to power the ARJ21 regional jet, which is currently in development.
ACAC and GEAE are said to see a potential market for 500 ARJ21s over the next 20 years, representing a potential value to GE of $3 billion.
Development of the ARJ21 is said to represent the next phase in the expansion of China’s aviation market. Fuelled by the country’s economic growth over the past decade, revenue passenger miles have increased significantly. There are currently 50 new airports scheduled for construction within China over the next five years to meet the higher demand. As a result, feeder traffic – the segment serviced by regional jets – could grow 12% annually over the next 20 years.
The CF34-10A engine, which has been selected to power both the 79-passenger and the 99-passenger ARJ21 aircraft, is part of GE’s CF34 family for regional jets. To date, GEAE has received firm orders for more than 5,600 CF34 engines, of which about 1,400 have been delivered.
The ARJ21 is being designed to meet the demanding conditions of China’s diverse environment, specifically the hot temperature and high altitude conditions experienced on many routes in Western China.