The Chinese aircraft market will be critical for industry participants over the next two decades as China overtakes the United States as the leading player in air transportation. China has been building its domestic aircraft industry over the last two decades, has introduced its first regional jet, the ARJ-21, and will soon introduce its first mainline jet, the C919. While neither of these jets is as efficient as its Western competition from Embraer, Bombardier, Airbus or Boeing, they are competitive with today’s models and provide China with a market entry opportunity into the global marketplace.
The Chinese government has in place a Made in China 2025 initiative to encourage companies to utilize Chinese-made aircraft. With HNA operating 10 airlines, including airlines in Africa, this purchase also fits within the One Belt and One Road initiative to modernize the old silk road trade with China. While Africa is a bit off the traditional silk road, it is a very important supplier of minerals and raw materials to China, and a part of the new trade routes.
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