China is aiming to significantly increase its share of the global turboprop aircraft market, with the launch of a new model.
In an interview with the China Daily, an official with the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) said the new MA-700 aircraft will help it gain approximately one third of global market share.
“The MA-700 will make its maiden flight in the first half of 2017 and is set to be delivered to buyers in 2019. At least 50 planes will be made each year,” Dong Jianhong, a senior designer at AVIC told China Daily. “I am convinced that after the aircraft enters service, it will help us obtain at least 30% of the international turboprop airliner market within about 10 years.”
Carrying approximately 86 passengers, the MA-700 will be the successor to the existing MA-60 turboprop, which has been beset with safety issues. But Dong said AVIC is aiming to have the MA-700 certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“Once the MA-700 is certified in China, we will – and must – strive to have it certified by the United States Federal Aviation Administration, otherwise the plane will not be able to enter Western markets,” he said.
But like the MA-60, AVIC expects the MA-700’s main customers to be airlines in Asia, Africa and South America.