Planemakers will have to assemble aircraft in China to bag orders

Aircraft manufacturers will have to set up production facilities in China if they hope to grab a slice of the country's burgeoning aviation market. In October, Airbus agreed to open an aircraft assembly line in collaboration with Chinese partners in Tianjin.

China cannot just be a sales operation. The Chinese will not buy planes if there is no spin-off for the country, Airbus officials say. The company expects to sell 130 superjumbo A380s to China over the next 20 years.

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer already produces jets in the north China city of Harbin, and made its first deliveries from the plant to China Southern Airlines earlier this year.

Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, which already has a number of joint ventures in railways with Chinese companies, is also considering setting up assembly facilities for its aircraft in the country.

Besides, it has agreed to cooperate with the China Aviation Industry Corp I to develop 90- to 149-seat commercial airplanes. The deal involves AVIC I's own five-abreast ARJ21-900 aircraft and Bombardier's proposed C-Series aircraft.