Fokker to Develop Chinese Aircraft

THE HAGUE, 12/05/11 – Dutch aviation company Fokker is entering into an intensive partnership with Chinese aircraft-builder Comac for the development of new aircraft types.

A contract will be signed in Shanghai today during the trade mission led by Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen. The partnership has the potential to deliver billions to Stork’s aviation division, De Telegraaf newspaper reported yesterday.

The agreement that Fokker will sign covers the development and supply of components for planes with which the Chinese in future intend to enter into competition with Boeing and Airbus, according to the newspaper. « For Fokker, the deal means a breakthrough in Asia, where it will as a result of the contract become one of the chief suppliers for the future Chinese trump-card in the world aviation market. »

Fokker’s parent company Stork confirmed that its CEO Sjoerd Vollebregt will sign a memorandum of understanding today with Jin Zhunag Long, CEO of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, in which the « mutual interest in partnership » is enshrined, although « there are no concrete agreements for the supply of products and services yet. »

Five business units are ranged under Fokker Technologies, each covering specific projects for civil and military aviation, such as aircraft maintenance and the development of cable systems. Via Fokker Technologies unit Fokker Elmo, Stork has already been operating in China for 10 years with its own plant where cabling is made for Airbus, Boeing and other international and Chinese clients.

Vollebregt said earlier this year that Stork lost an important contract in China to a French competitor, because French President Sarkozy lobbied strongly for this with the Chinese. Vollebregt accused The Hague of not making enough effort for Dutch companies abroad. On this, Premier Mark Rutte asked Vollebregt at a public meeting why the Stork chief had not phoned him up.



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