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China's Comac to deliver first 150-seat jets in 2018

SHANGHAI -- Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, or Comac, the state-owned company set up to give China the ability to manufacture its own passenger planes, said it intends to deliver the first of its 150-seat C919 planes in 2018.

     The company revealed these plans on Wednesday when it invited the foreign press for the first time to its assembly plant in Shanghai where it is currently developing the smaller 90-seat ARJ21 passenger plane. The first ARJ21 is set for delivery at the end of this year.

     As for the larger C919 model, Comac said it would begin assembling the fuselage at a plant in Shanghai during the second half of this year, and expects the maiden flight to take place at the end of 2015.

     The C919 will compete against the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. Comac has already received orders for around 400 of the planes from both Chinese and foreign customers, including the U.S. aircraft leasing company of the General Electric group.

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