NEW YORK (AP) -- Alcoa Inc. said Thursday it is working with China on the development of the country's newest and biggest commercial jetliner.
The U.S.-based aluminum maker and the state-backed Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd. are "examining advanced aluminum structural concepts, designs and alloys" that will be used to build the 190-seat C919 aircraft.
China hopes the narrow-body, single-aisle C919 will boost its fledgling aviation industry and help it compete with Western rivals such as Boeing Co. and Airbus. Chinese officials say the C919 will be cheaper for airlines to operate and use 12 percent to 15 percent less fuel than comparable jetliners.
The Chinese company plans to fly the plane for the first time in 2014 before delivering it to buyers in 2016. Parts will be made by suppliers worldwide, but the aircraft will be assembled in Shanghai.
Alcoa has operations at 15 sites in China, including offices and plants in Beijing, Shanghai, Qinhuangdao, Kunshan, Suzhou, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Alcoa's products also are being used in a new Chinese regional jet, the ARJ21-700.
Shares of Alcoa rose 78 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $12.71 in morning trading.