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China’s C919 Passenger Jet Makes First Commercial Flight

Arun Sivasankaran - : May 30, 2023 - : 3:47 am

China has taken the first firm step towards challenging the duopoly being enjoyed by Boeing and Airbus when it comes to making large passenger aircraft.

The country’s first domestically-made large passenger jet, C919, has successfully completed its maiden commercial flight. Nearly 130 passengers were on board for the maiden two-hour flight.

The 164-seat aircraft, made by the state-owned aerospace manufacturer Commercial Aviation Corporation of China (Comac) and operated by China Eastern Airlines, took off from Shanghai to Beijing on Sunday morning. The carrier had received the jet in December.

According to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, passengers received red boarding passes and a “themed” meal. They also got a dessert featuring the aircraft’s logo.

The flight is the culimnation of work that had been going on for more than a decade. The aircraft’s commercial debut was initially scheduled for 2016, but technical difficulties and supply issues caused a delay.

The first C919 was ultimately manufactured in 2015, and made its first test flight two years later. It made its public debut at China’s Zhuhai Airshow in November. The C919 has two cabins, with eight seats in business class and 156 in economy. Comac has secured more than 1,200 orders for the aircraft, according to BBC.

China’s first domestic jet, the ARJ21, entered service in 2016. The largest vatriant of the aircraft has 97 seats.


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