China’s COMAC Seeks to Enter Saudi Aviation Market

A model of a Chinese-made COMAC (C919) aircraft at the company’s pavilion at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh. (Photo: Turky Al-Agili)
A model of a Chinese-made COMAC (C919) aircraft at the company’s pavilion at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh. (Photo: Turky Al-Agili)
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China’s COMAC Seeks to Enter Saudi Aviation Market

A model of a Chinese-made COMAC (C919) aircraft at the company’s pavilion at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh. (Photo: Turky Al-Agili)
A model of a Chinese-made COMAC (C919) aircraft at the company’s pavilion at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh. (Photo: Turky Al-Agili)

Chinese aircraft manufacturer COMAC, which launched its first international flights in February, expressed its desire to enter the Saudi aviation market and contribute to supporting the country’s ambition to be a global aviation hub.

COMAC Chairman He Dongfeng stressed that the COMAC cargo aircraft can connect Saudi Arabia with markets in the region, as well as in North Africa and neighboring Asian countries.

Speaking during a panel discussion, “A special conversation with the Commercial Aircraft Company about future growth plans and current trends,” on the second day of the Future Aviation Forum, he said that the Chinese government-owned company is working according to a comprehensive three-year strategy that aims to reduce carbon emissions.

COMAC, which was established in 2008, launched its first ever commercial flights during the month of May 2023, and then announced its intention to produce 150 C919 aircraft annually within five years, adding that it has already obtained more than 1,200 orders from local companies.

The C919 aircraft carries less than 200 passengers, and is the first locally manufactured passenger aircraft of this size. The Chinese company said that it began developing the airplane 15 years ago, to compete with the narrow-body Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 aircraft.

COMAC began its first production lines at a time when the two giants of the aircraft industry, Boeing and Airbus, are facing challenges related to meeting the delivery of aircraft on time, and others related to the shortage of supplies of engines and semiconductors.



EU States Agree on 14th Sanctions Package Against Russia

The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)
The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)
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EU States Agree on 14th Sanctions Package Against Russia

The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)
The European Union flag inside the atrium during an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Omar Havana)

European Union countries agreed on a 14th package of sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine, diplomats said on Thursday, including a ban on re-exports of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) in EU waters.
Belgium, which holds the rotating EU presidency until July 1, said on the X platform that the package "maximizes the impact of existing sanctions by closing loopholes".
Countries debated the new measures for over a month and ultimately watered down one of the Commission's proposals, aimed at preventing even more circumvention, at Germany's prompting, Reuters reported.
The dropped measure would have forced subsidiaries of EU companies in third countries to contractually prohibit the re-exports of their goods to Russia. The EU is keen to stop the flow of dual-use technology such as washing machine chips that could be used by Russia for military purposes.
An EU diplomat said Germany had asked for an impact assessment, and the measure could be included at a later date.
The ban on trans-shipments is the first restriction the bloc has applied to LNG. However, gas market experts say the measure will have little impact as Europe is still buying Russian gas itself, and trans-shipments via EU ports to Asia represent only around 10% of total Russian LNG exports.
The package also tightens measures against the shadow fleet moving Russian oil outside the price cap on Russian crude set by the Group of Seven (G7) nations. EU countries added tankers to the list of sanctioned entities as well as at least two Russian-owned ships moving military equipment from North Korea, diplomats said.
Overall, 47 new entities and 69 individuals were added to the EU sanctions list, bringing the total to 2,200. The package is expected to be formally approved when EU foreign ministers meet on Monday, diplomats said.