June 1, 2017 / 10:15 AM / 2 years ago

China's Li appeals to Germany for help with certifying C919 jet: Xinhua

China's home-grown C919 passenger jet takes off on its first flight at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China May 5, 2017. China Daily/via REUTERS

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has urged Germany to help China’s home-grown C919 passenger jet get a European Union airworthiness certificate during talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, state media reported on Thursday.

The Xinhua news agency said Li made the appeal on Wednesday during an official visit to Germany for an annual meeting between the two heads of government.

The single-aisle aircraft made its maiden flight last month, marking a major step for the country which wants to raise its profile in the global aviation market and boost high-tech manufacturing at home.

China is pushing for global recognition of the C919, which does not yet have certification from European and U.S. regulators. Without their certification, China would only be able to sell the jet to a handful of countries that accept China’s certification standards.

Europe’s aviation safety regulator said last month that it had started the certification process for the C919 jet, whose first deliveries are aimed at around 2019.

The C919, made by state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd (COMAC) [CMAFC.UL], relies on overseas technology from firms including General Electric Co (GE.N), France’s Safran SA (SAF.PA), Honeywell International Inc (HON.N) and United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) subsidiary UTC Aerospace Systems.

Reporting by Brenda Goh

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