GE to Set Up China Aviation Joint Venture

Firms await regulatory approval, eye mid-2010 launch.

General Electric Co.'s aviation unit and China's state-run Aviation Industry Corp. said Sunday they had agreed to form a joint venture to develop and market systems for commercial aircraft.

The two companies said in a joint statement they aimed to launch the new joint venture by mid-2010 and were awaiting regulatory approval.

The new company will be headquartered in China and will target global markets, the statement said.

Lorraine Bolsinger, president and chief executive for GE's aviation systems business, said the new venture wanted to work with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China on a proposed 168- to 190-seat aircraft.

Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, already markets the ARJ21, China's first 90-seat regional jet.

"The joint venture creates approximately 200 jobs in the U.S., in addition to creating bilateral industrial cooperation with China," said Bolsinger. "Our immediate focus is to jointly bid the best, competitive solutions to compete for the COMAC C919 narrow-body aircraft program. This includes an open architecture Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) platform."

No financial details of the deal were released.

Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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