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China Debuts New Passenger Jet

Visitors walk inside the cabin of a scale model of a Chinese-made C919 passenger airliner at the 8th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Zhuhai Airshow) in Zhuhai, southern coast of Guangdong province, China, 16 Nov 2010.

China has unveiled its first domestically-built large passenger jet, which will compete with two Western-based aviation giants on the global market.

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, or COMAC, introduced a preliminary version of its C919 jetliner Tuesday at an air show in the southern city of Zhuhai. The company announced it has signed orders to sell more than 100 C919s to three domestic airliners - Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines.

The new C919, which will seat over 150 passengers, is being introduced as an alternative to the European-built Airbus A320 and the U.S.-built Boeing 737. COMAC projects the plane's first test-flight will be held in 2014, with delivery two years later.

The company expects to sell more than 2,000 C919s worldwide over the next 20 years.

COMAC also has outstanding orders for a smaller passenger jet, the ARJ21. The clients include U.S.-based GE Capital Aviation Services, an airplane leasing service.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.