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Graphic shows selected C919 suppliers, and comparison with Boeing and Airbus rivals.


China’s rival to Boeing and Airbus nears commercial service

July 13, 2021 - After more than a decade in development and $72 billion in state support, China’s first passenger jet, the single-aisle Comac C919, is nearing approval to start commercial flights.

Spun out of China’s military aviation industry in 2008, Comac has announced close to 1,000 orders and options for the plane, mainly from domestic customers. The first delivery, to China Eastern Airlines, is due to take place by the end of this year, according to the Financial Times.

The C919 is no match in fuel efficiency or range for the newest versions of the Airbus A320 or Boeing’s 737 family. But the big worry for the western groups is that future iterations could make a large dent in orders from China.

The country is on course to become the world’s largest aviation market. Boeing predicts the country’s airlines will acquire a total of 8,600 new planes over the next 20 years alone, FT said.

PUBLISHED: 13/07/2021; STORY: Graphic News