Spain’s Aritex named supplier for China’s new airliner

24 Oct

Spanish group Aritex said Tuesday it had been chosen to assemble wing parts for China’s new medium-range commercial jet, a flagship project aimed at challenging the dominance of Airbus and Boeing.

The Barcelona-based firm has signed an agreement with a unit of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) to assemble the central wing box of the C919 plane, Aritex said in a statement to AFP.

The wing box secures the wing within the fuselage.

Aritex already assembles another component — the horizontal tailplane — for the aircraft, which is scheduled to come into service in 2016.

The company, whose business spans the automation and renewable energy sectors, said it plans to set up an assembly plant in Shanghai to serve the Chinese aviation industry.

The C919 will have up to 168 seats with a range of up to 5,555 kilometres (3,444 miles), according to COMAC’s website. The Chinese company also makes a smaller regional jet, the ARJ21.

Industry officials say the C919 will compete with Boeing and Airbus in the medium-range sector, which represents 70 percent of China’s market.

Aritex’s commercial success is a rare bright spot in an otherwise gloomy economic picture for Spain, where unemployment is at nearly 25 percent and the government is struggling to cut its budget deficit.

The group also supplies to Airbus as well as other companies such as Canadian plane manufacturer Bombardier

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