Safran selected as COMAC partner on China’s C919 150-seat aircraft

Paris, December 21, 2009

The advanced new LEAP-X1C engine offered by Safran and General Electric through their CFM International joint venture has been selected as the sole western powerplant by COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd.) for its new 150-seat aircraft, the C919. COMAC opted for a complete propulsion system including the engine itself, the nacelle and the thrust reversers. The nacelle, an integral part of CFM's offer, will be produced by Nexcelle, also a joint venture between Safran (Aircelle) and GE (MRAS). COMAC expects its new aircraft to enter service in 2016.

The contract was signed today in Beijing by Eric Bachelet, President and CEO of CFM International, and Zhang Qingwei, Chairman of COMAC. Also attending the ceremony were the prime ministers of France and China, François Fillon and Wen Jiabao.

Jean-Paul Herteman, Chief Executive Officer of Safran, said: "China will represent the world's largest aviation market within a few years. We are very proud of our selection by COMAC, and of having this opportunity to contribute to the success of a new world-class aircraft. The selection of the Safran-GE alliance on the C919 is the culmination of our strategy based on partnerships and operations in China reaching back over 30 years. Our latest success confirms Safran's excellent position in the commercial aviation market, especially in the single-aisle jet segment."

Zhang Qingwei, Chairman of the Board of COMAC, added: "The quality of the proposal was decisive in our selection. We are delighted to form this major partnership with a group that has largely demonstrated its excellence in aeronautical technologies, and has been able to construct a long-standing relationship of mutual trust with our country, spanning both business and industrial aspects."



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COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd.) is the Chinese commercial aircraft manufacturer established in May 2008.
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Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defense and Security. Operating worldwide, the Safran group has 54,500 employees and generated sales exceeding 10 billion euros in 2008. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditures of 1.2 billion euros in 2008. Safran is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris and its share is part of the SBF 120 and Euronext 100 indexes.
Safran operates several industrial facilities and joint ventures in China, located in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Chengdu, Guiyang, Yangzhou.
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