OEMs Comac and Bombardier have signed a framework agreement that will initially see them cooperate in areas such as marketing and customer support, with the possibility of deeper collaboration being looked at.
The agreement could see the two cooperate on aircraft program commonalities, joint procurement as well as collaboration on future Bombardier and COMAC product lines.
The agreement comes as both manufacturers try and take on established players Airbus and Boeing in the narrowbody market. Comac’s C919 is due to launch in 2014, while Bombardier’s C series is expected to arrive in 2013.
The companies says the collaboration, “will leverage the synergies and strengths of both companies to develop mutually beneficial projects,” adding, “This long-term strategic cooperation agreement is based on both Comac’s and Bombardier’s desire to build on the potential complementary nature of their products and respective expertise.
The manufacturers say the aim of the agreement is to “help each other increase overall market share in emerging and mature markets.” There have been doubts over Comac’s ability to sell significant numbers of aircraft outside its captive home market, while Bombardier has also struggled to establish its C-series as a rival to the A320 and 737 families. Both also face increased competition from a re-engined Airbus and a possible 737-successor from Boeing.
The Canadian company reached an agreement with China’s ICBC bank earlier this year to provide US$8 billion of funding for leasing, and an agreement with Comac could open up the Chinese market for the Montreal manufacturer.
“COMAC is pleased to work closely with Bombardier to efficiently identify areas of mutual collaboration and explore future endeavours. Both our companies have specific strengths that, when combined, will enhance the competitiveness of our respective aircraft programs and businesses as a whole,” said Zhang, Chairman of Comac.
“This agreement represents another important step in the strengthening of our relationship. We believe that this collaboration will generate positive results for both the C919 and CSeries aircraft programs. It also opens the door to further cooperation on any other projects that would be mutually beneficial,” stated Pierre Beaudoin, president and chief executive officer of Bombardier.
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