DALLAS – Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac (Commercial Aircraft Corp of China) has landed a mammoth order for 300 of its C919 jets during the first day of the Zhuhai Airshow in China.
The order will be split among seven leasing companies from the country. These are China Development Bank Financial Leasing, ICBC Financial Leasing, CCB Financial Leasing, Bank of Communications Financial Leasing, CMB Financial Leasing, SPDB Financial Leasing, and Jiangsu Financial Leasing.
A Viable Airbus/Boeing Competitor?
The C919 is China’s first-ever single-aisle airliner. In September, the jet received its type certificate from the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration. The C919, which is meant to compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 directly, features around 168 seats, six seats per row, with a total of twenty-eight rows. As for range, it hovers between 4,075 and 5,555 kilometers (2,530 and 3,450 miles), according to the plane maker.
“It has been the biggest new aircraft order signed during the Zhuhai Airshow this year, indicating that the C919 will enter the global aircraft market on a large scale,” Lin Zhijie, an aviation industry analyst and a columnist at Carnoc, a prominent civil aviation website, told China Daily.
“The commercial debut of the C919 soon, will provide more choices for global carriers and help them lower their operational costs, and offer convenient services for passengers,” Lin added.
China Eastern Airlines (MU) will be the launch customer, with the first jet already painted in its livery with an additional print of “The World’s First C919″ applied to the fuselage”. The airline will welcome the first jet in December and the next four in 2023.
Comac has stated that China requires 9,284 new aircraft over the next 20 years to meet market demand. This is 200 more than its 2021 forecast. It also noted that the Chinese fleet will grow above 10,000 airframes by 2041, making up over 20% of the global fleet.
The C919’s presence at the Zhuhai Airshow was its first performance at an international-level airshow.
Featured Image: The first C919 is expected to be delivered to China Eastern Airlines in December. Photo: Honeywell.