BEIJING: China declared on Friday that the nation’s brand-new domestically constructed passenger jet had made its first delivery. The aircraft is anticipated to make its commercial debut early next year.
Although the majority of its parts are imported, Beijing expects that the C919 commercial airliner will compete with Western models like the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320.
In a ceremony at a Shanghai airport, the first model of the 164-passenger narrow-body jet was formally handed over to China Eastern Airlines, according to state media.According to state broadcaster CCTV, the action represented “an important milestone” in the development of China’s aircraft sector.
Footage shown Friday by CCTV showed the aeroplane wearing the China Eastern emblem standing on a rainswept airport and allowed a view inside the aircraft s cabin.A “commemorative key to the world’s first C919” was presented to the airline by the government-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), according to CCTV.
At an airshow last month, COMAC announced that it had orders for 300 C919s, but it didn’t say whether the contracts were fully confirmed, how much the deals were worth, or when they would be delivered.
However, if the orders are carried out, they would bring the total known deals for the C919 to over 1,100, according to data from earlier COMAC statements.