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


China's passagiersvliegtuig van eigen bodem

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.

The state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) manufactures the single-aisle jet. The aircraft made its first commercial flight last May but is certified to carry passengers only within mainland China. It currently flies with China Eastern Airlines.

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.

“While it was easy to ramp down in response to the pandemic-induced demand crisis, the ramp up has been beset with challenges,” Alton Aviation Consultancy reported on Tuesday.

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.

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