GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) has signed a formal contract with the Chinese AVIC I Commercial Aircraft Co Ltd (ACAC) to supply GE engines for China’s new regional jet aircraft.
GEAE and Chinese officials have been working on the details of this long-term agreement since late 2002, when ACAC selected GEAE’s new CF34-10A engine to power China’s ARJ21 regional jet, a new aircraft now under development and scheduled for flight-testing in 2006.
ACAC and GEAE envision a potential market for 500 ARJ aircraft over the next 20 years, representing a potential engine value to GEAE of approximately $3 billion.
At the signing ceremony, David Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of GEAE, joined members of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
According to GEAC, China will build nearly 100 airports in the next seven years, resulting in a sharp growth in feeder traffic into China’s major airports. Growth in Western China should stimulate demand for the ARJ, which is uniquely suited for the region’s hot, high-altitude airports.
GEAE and ACAC are now collaborating on integrating the CF34-10A engine into the ARJ aircraft, which is in the design phase. In the production phase, the CF34-10A will be sourced from global suppliers, most of which are based in the United States.