BEIJING, March 25 O-Bay Aircraft Co, a privately
owned Chinese firm based in Henan province, has signed a $3.5
billion deal with Russia's Sukhoi Civil Aircraft to buy 100
SSJ-100 regional jets, a Chinese executive said on Tuesday.
O-Bay Aircraft also plans to manufacture SSJ-100 jets in
partnership with Sukhoi and two Chinese companies in Zhengzhou
city, Henan province, said the executive, who declined to be
"We are still in detailed discussions with Sukhoi for the
China assembly plant which would be up and running by 2018. Part
of the 100 jets would be manufactured in the China plant," the
executive told Reuters, without disclosing financial details of
O-Bay Aircraft, the executive said, has conducted a detailed
study about the growth potential of the Chinese market. It will
set up an airline company flying the SSJ-100 jets and sell the
jets to other Chinese carriers in the future.
However, global regional jet makers, such as Bombardier Inc
and Embraer SA have made little headway in
China so far because Chinese airlines, including regional
carriers, prefer commercial jets made by Boeing Co and
Airbus Group NV.
Safety of home-made planes are also called into question
after Chinese aviation authority grounded some of China's
self-made MA-60 regional planes last month after two consecutive
instances of landing gear failure.
State-backed Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China is
also making a regional jet, the ARJ21, as well as a commercial
jet, the C919.
(Reporting by Fang Yan and Matthew Miller in BEIJING; Editing
by Jeremy Laurence)