Beijing International Aviation Expo opens

Beijing's International Aviation Expo, which opened on Wednesday 19 September, has attracted companies from over 20 countries and regions. The highlight of the expo - China's new indigenously designed and produced regional jet - is expected to launch its maiden flight next March. This was the message from the jet's designer at the expo.

US aviation giant Boeing is showcasing a model of its newest 787 Dreamliner jet at the expo. The 787 has landed a total of 60 orders from Chinese carriers so far. Boeing expects China to be its second largest market outside the US over the next two decades.

European aviation giant Airbus has also brought new members of its airliner family to the show. Airbus has affirmed its commitment to long-term strategic partnerships with the Chinese aviation industry by agreeing to set up an assembly plant for its A320 jetliner in China.

Industry insiders predict China's airliner fleet will quadruple over the next 20 years. The huge market potential is expected to provide sky-high opportunities for both Chinese and foreign aviation companies.