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Plane Maker Announces New Aircraft Service Company

As part of it's large jet program, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC), set up an aircraft service company in Shanghai on Tuesday.

It's named COMAC Shanghai Aircraft Customer Service Co Ltd. It provides aircraft maintenance and repair, pilot training, aviation equipment and materials leasing and consulting for aviation technologies for both large planes and regional aircraft.

Jin Zhuanglong, COMAC's general manager, said the service company was among the COMAC's three key entities which were responsible for aircraft design, manufacturing and service.

The establishment of the company was another step forward by the COMAC to manufacture China's homegrown large aircraft, he said.

Tuesday's announcement came before the COMAC test flies the ARJ-21 regional jet which is supposed to happen before the end of this year. ARJ-21 is China's first indigenously developed and manufactured passenger aircraft. In December, it became the first plane made by the the production line in Shanghai.

The COMAC was set up this May after approval early last year by the State Council, China's Cabinet. Headquartered in Shanghai, COMAC had a registered capital of 19 billion yuan (US$2.78 billion). The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission alone invested 6 billion yuan, becoming the biggest shareholder.

With the establishment of COMAC, China hopes to make itself capable of building aircraft with a take-off weight of more than 100 tons, or planes with more than 150 seats.

(Xinhua News Agency October 7, 2008)

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