COMAC C919 airliner infographic
Graphic cshows C919 jetliner and compare it to Beoing 737-8 and Airbus A320neo.


China’s homegrown passenger jet

By Duncan Mil

February 20, 2024 - Beijing’s narrow-body C919 airliner -- a potential rival to Boeing and Airbus planes -- has made its first foray outside Chinese territory by staging a flyby at the Singapore Airshow.

At the show, which officially started on Tuesday, China’s state-owned Tibet Airlines announced an order for 40 C919 jets, according to Chinese state media Global Times.

Planemakers and engine producers have struggled to keep up with the demand rebound after the sharp downturn during the pandemic led to job losses and an industry skills shortage.

The C919, which has a list price of US$108 million, has cost Beijing an estimated $49 billion in development, manufacturing and other costs, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. While cheaper than the A320neo at $110.6 million, the A320’s LEAP 1A engines deliver 20% fuel savings and CO2 reduction.

Shukor Yusof of Endau Analytics said the C919 would be “the most scrutinized aircraft at the Singapore Airshow.”

The aircraft has not yet been certified by U.S. and European aviation regulators, which Yusof said was “a big disadvantage.”

“It will become a competitor in a small way, but it won’t be in the same league as Airbus and Boeing,” he said.

PUBLISHED: 20/02/2024; STORY: Graphic News