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$4 billion worth deals struck at Air Show China

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China's indigenous fighter aircraft Jian-10 (Fighter-10) performs during the 7th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai. Xinhua /Lu Hanxin photo

HONG KONG (BNS): Much to the expectation and desire of the global aviation industry, Air Show China has concluded on a relatively high note. The show organisers claimed deals of 102 new aircraft were finalised during the six-day long air extragavanza that attracted some of the leading name in aerospace sector.

In terms of money, deals worth four billion dollars were signed at Zhuhai in South China's Guandong province facing Las Vegas of the East, Macau. All the companies reported some success in augmenting their businesses. The Chinese companies also made some impressive progress.

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, the newly formed conglomerate, claimed that it would sell 25 ARJ21-700 regional jets to America's GE Commercial Aviation Services in a 733 million dollar deal. It's a big success for China which has managed to make an impression in the aviation market as an aircraft manufacturer. The first of these aircraft would be handed over in 2013 and one every month would be added after the first delivery.

The Chinese company proudly announced that its indigenous jet was entering the western markets for the first time.

There was much expectation from the air show as China continues to be the world's biggest market and experts hope it would single handedly drive the growth in recession-hit aviation sector. It was no surprise when 600 aviation businesses from 35 countries were at Zhuhai to make their presence felt.

China used the opportunity to showcase its own capabilities. If the regional jet deal was the high point of the civil aircraft segment, China's indigenous fighter jet J-10 was also shown to the world along with FBC-1 fighter bomber.

The show went off well but it was nowhere near its potential, felt some experts as these were difficult times for the aviation industry. It was much better than the recently held air show in India's southern city of Hyderabad where no new deal was announced. India is the second biggest aviation market after China. It was India's first civil aviation air show and drew a blank sending a wave of disappointment.

Air Show China has shown some light and it is hoped that industry's fortunes would be revived in the coming months. Boeing has predicted that China would need at least 2500 more aircraft in the next 20 years.

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