Air Transport World

The 100-seat mirage -- Analysis.(China' s AVIC Ministry plans construction of twinjet aircraft)

The Asian dream of a regionally assembled 100-seat twinjet is receding into the distance, growing fainter with each breath. It seems only a matter of time before the AE31X collaboration of China's AVIC ministry, Airbus Industrie Asia and Singapore Technologies evaporates altogether.

In its best times, the AE31X program appeared to have a foundation of sand. After the Singapore air show, the program's future seems more tenuous then ever.

Players in that program made public comments that at best were tepid expressions of hope. Airbus CEO Jean Pierson said his company, with Alenia in Airbus Industrie Asia, knows where the market for a 100-seater is and what the aircraft must deliver to succeed in that market. …

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