China’s dominant aircraft manufacturers have an eye on the lucrative market for single-aisle aircraft in the 150-seat category.
China Daily reported this week that China Aviation Industry Corp I and China Aviation Industry Corp II may collaborate to develop such an airliner.
The aircraft would be a rival to Boeing’s best-selling 737 and rival Airbus’ A320 or their successors.
Boeing and Airbus received more than 1,500 orders for those two aircraft this year, making them the most popular in each company’s product lines.
The rival companies have said they’re likely to replace the 737 and A320 aircraft with composite-bodied, super-efficient jetliners in their catalogs beginning in about 2015.
The Chinese jetliner is expected to debut in about 2020.
AVIC I already produces the ARJ-21 regional jet, a DC-9 look-alike equipped with modern engines and flight control systems.
The ARJ-21 accomodates 70-85 seats.