China's Airbus and Boeing rival, C919, to make maiden commercial flight on Sunday

It will connect the busiest route in the country between Beijing and Shanghai.
Ameya Paleja
The C919 during its maiden test flight
The C919 during its maiden test flight


C919, the homegrown narrow-body jet developed by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), will make its maiden commercial flight on Sunday, the South China Morning Post reported. The C919 is China's attempt to break the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing in the aviation sector.

When it comes to smaller aircraft, there are many options available to choose from. However, for larger aircraft transporting hundreds of passengers for commercial purposes, one can only choose between the French Airbus and or U.S-made Boeings. For more than 14 years, China has been working to break into the market dominance of these two players, and its dream will take its first commercial flight on Sunday.

The C919's maiden flight

The C919 is a twin-engine narrow-body aircraft powered by the LEAP-1C engines, which the Safran Group makes. The aircraft can accommodate up to 192 passengers and has a maximum range of 3,451 miles (5,550 km).

The interiors of the aircraft can be arranged in two cabin classes with business-class seating up front. The three-seater economy class offers a slightly larger middle seat to provide more comfort for passengers. As many 20 drop-down screens, each 12 inches (30.4 cm) in size, can be deployed inside the aircraft to play movies in 1080p.

The aircraft was certified by the  Civil Aviation Administration Of China (CAAC) in September last year, following which it was delivered to China Eastern Airlines in December. After carrying out 100 hours of test flights, the airline is now ready to begin offering commercial flights using the plane.

China's Airbus and Boeing rival, C919, to make maiden commercial flight on Sunday
The C919 will connect Shanghai to Beijing in its initial flights

On Sunday, flight MU9191 will take off from Shanghai at 10.45 am and head toward the capital city of Beijing, on the country's busiest domestic flight route. As scheduled, the aircraft will land in Beijing at 1:10 pm and return as flight MU9192 later that afternoon. Currently, the flight tickets are not available for public booking, the SCMP report added.

C919's journey to break into Airbus-Boeing dominance comes at a time when China's aviation market has reopened following months of airport shutdowns and flight cancellations as a result of the COVID-19 response in the country.

Domestic traffic has been slowly catching up, but the Guangzhou - Shanghai route has recovered faster than the Shanghai-Beijing route post-pandemic. The Chinese government aims to increase the C919's market share to 10 percent by 2025.

The souring U.S.-China relations have also impacted Boeing's fortunes in the country, with its 737 MAX being grounded for over four years following fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Comac has received over 1,200 orders for the C919, the state media has reported previously.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board