On Sunday (28th), China Eastern Airlines carried out the first commercial flight of the Chinese aircraft C919. The Shanghai-Beijing flight marked the entry of the airliner into passenger service.
Development of the C919 began in 2008 by the state-owned Commercial Aviation Corporation of China (Comac). Today, the company expects to compete with aircraft such as the A320neo from the European company Airbus, and the 737 Max from the American Boeing Company.
On Sunday’s flight, the C919 took off from Shanghai Hongqiao Airport at around 10:32 am local time and landed at Beijing Airport. The trip took about two and a half hours. This was the aircraft’s first commercial flight, but it made its maiden flight in 2017.
It is capable of carrying up to 168 passengers, and is part of China’s plan to become a strong competitor in the commercial aircraft market. Although assembled in the country, it relies on components from companies such as American General Electric and France’s Honeywell and Safran.
China Eastern Airlines, which is backed by the Chinese state, has ordered five units of the aircraft and expects to receive the rest in 2023. According to COMAC, the aircraft had received 1,035 orders from 32 customers by the end of 2022.
The Chinese manufacturer hopes to produce 150 C919s per year over five years. The company is also responsible for the ARJ21, a 90-seat short-range aircraft that has been in commercial operation since 2016.
“Devoted food specialist. General alcohol fanatic. Amateur explorer. Infuriatingly humble social media scholar. Analyst.”