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Aerospace & Defense

China carriers scoop up homegrown jets despite travel downturn

Beijing cultivates domestic aviation industry by purchasing planes from COMAC

The C919 is seen as the plane that will turn COMAC into a global aviation player, though it has yet to be certified in the U.S. or Europe. (Courtesy of COMAC)

GUANGZHOU -- China's top state-owned airlines are on track to acquire double the number of homegrown planes in 2022 from last year, as the government bolsters support for its budding aviation sector even while travel demand continues to suffer from the coronavirus.

China Eastern Airlines announced plans this month to raise up to 15 billion yuan ($2.25 billion), including from its parent company, largely to expand the carrier's fleet. It is slated to receive 38 aircraft in the next few years including 24 ARJ21 regional jets and four C919s, both produced by Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, known as COMAC.

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