En­gine maker CFM plans China co­op­er­a­tion

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By ZHU WENQIAN zhuwen­[email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

Aero­engine man­u­fac­turer CFM In­ter­na­tional, which sup­plies China’s do­mes­ti­cally man­u­fac­tured C919 air­craft, said it is bullish on the Chi­nese mar­ket’s growth po­ten­tial, and hopes to have more co­op­er­a­tion with Chi­nese sup­pli­ers.

Cur­rently, more than 20 per­cent of air­craft pow­ered by CFM engines are in China, the com­pany’s se­cond largest mar­ket af­ter the United States.

The com­pany’s engines cur­rently in ser­vice and new en­gine orders in China to­tal a com­bined 8,500, CFM said.

“China is a strate­gic mar­ket for CFM. We have a big team in Shang­hai and we work closely with COMAC (the C919 man­u­fac­turer) every day. We find prob­lems and solve them to­gether, and the co­op­er­a­tion goes smoothly,” said Gael Me­heust, pres­i­dent and CEO of CFM In­ter­na­tional, in Bei­jing.

“Our re­la­tion­ship with the Chi­nese avi­a­tion in­dus­try goes back more than 30 years, since we en­tered the China mar­ket in 1985,” he said.

CFM is a joint ven­ture un­der the GE Avi­a­tion of the United States and France’s Safran Air­craft Engines. Its par­ents each hold a 50 per­cent stake in the ven­ture. They both in­vest $500 mil­lion in China an­nu­ally by procur­ing CFM parts.

Safran op­er­ates mul­ti­ple fac­to­ries in China, in­clud­ing plants in Suzhou of Jiangsu prov­ince, Xi’an of Shaanxi prov­ince, and Guiyang of Guizhou prov­ince, and they pro­duce some key en­gine com­po­nents, such as low pres­sure tur­bines.

The French com­pany plans to con­tinue rais­ing the ca­pac­ity of its fac­tory in Suzhou to meet the grow­ing de­mand from the mar­ket.

In 2009, the Com­mer­cial Air­craft Corp of China chose LEAP engines to power the do­mes­ti­cally de­vel­oped sin­gleaisle pas­sen­ger jet C919. So far, the air­craft has com­pleted mul­ti­ple test flights, and it is ex­pected to en­ter com­mer­cial use in 2021.

Mean­while, the man­u­fac­tur­ers of the CR929, a lon­grange wide­body air­craft code­vel­oped by China and Rus­sia, have is­sued a re­quest for pro­pos­als for the air­craft’s engines.

En­gine mak­ers Roll­sRoyce and GE Avi­a­tion, among oth­ers, have joined the bid. The re­sult will be an­nounced at a later date, ac­cord­ing to Chi­naRus­sia Com­mer­cial Air­craft In­ter­na­tional Co Ltd, the air craft’s man­u­fac­turer.

By 2024, China is ex­pected to be­come the largest civil avi­a­tion mar­ket glob­ally, and its air trans­port vol­ume will reach 1.3 bil­lion pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally, out­pac­ing the United States, the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion fore­cast.

We find prob­lems and solve them to­gether, and the co­op­er­a­tion goes smoothly.” Gael Me­heust, pres­i­dent and CEO of CFM In­ter­na­tional

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