After a year of domestic flights, what’s next for China’s C919 jet?

After a year of domestic flights, what’s next for China’s C919 jet?

Around Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, island China’s busiest gate for foreign aviation, a shell of a aircraft sits forlorn on a slope. It has been unable to look on with longing as contemporary planes, mostly of the American kind, roar overhead, collecting dust and corrosion for decades.

This model of China’s first home-grown airliner, the Y- 10, has spent much more time on display at Commercial Aircraft Corp of China’s ( Comac ) main assembly facility than it has ever done gliding above the clouds.

In its simple life period, the Y- 10 travelled through the initial ups and downs of China’s aviation sector in the 1970s and 1980s, a turbulent time for Beijing’s exploration of corporate jet development. No order orders were issued for that trial, making Shanghai’s display type one of only two Y- 10s still in use.

However, the story of China’s search for a home-grown jet continues at the local production facility, where C919, the Y- 10’s religious descendant, rolls off the line. More than 30 years after money boundaries and design flaws cut the wings of the Y- 10, a new era of airliners is achieving a decades-long goal.

The solitary- hall C919, 15 years in the making, can pull up to 192 people for journeys of up to 5, 555km. With a month of regular commercial flights under its belt since its&nbsp, girl voyage&nbsp, in May 2023, the aircraft has burnished China’s credentials as a world player in aircraft production, a position befitting its status as the world’s subsequent- largest market for air travel.

However, this positive start, from the beginning of commercial operations to private certification, is likely to be the simplest step in a long journey to global relevance.

Before Airbus and Boeing can reach the same soaring success as the C919 and Comac, many obstacles must still be overcome. &nbsp, Airworthiness certification&nbsp, by unusual officials and proving the jet’s revenue are the two main objectives yet to be reached, experts said.

” Comac has a lot of convincing to would,” said Li Hanming, the leader of a transportation firm that operates in the United States.

” Letting Chinese airlines run the C919 well is the best way to best showcase its virtues and practicality for the global aircraft business.”


Away from some earlier stumbles, the C919 has had a mostly smooth get- off period. The Chinese aircraft is one time into its business run with China Eastern Airlines, with four aircraft flying&nbsp, home routes&nbsp, between Shanghai and three big cities. As of early May, the model had carried a cumulative 245, 000 passengers on 1, 800 flights.

Building on the momentum from the plane ‘s&nbsp, international debut&nbsp, at the Singapore Airshow in February, the C919 is gearing up for its first commercial flight beyond mainland China: A chartered flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai set for Jun 1.

For Beijing, the C919 is a totemic project, a source of patriotic pride and a demonstration of China’s advancement in technologically advanced research and manufacturing.

It was 10 years ago, almost to the day, when&nbsp, President Xi Jinping toured&nbsp, Comac’s Shanghai headquarters. He exhorted a flurry of pilots and engineers to make their best efforts to create a contemporary Chinese jet while sitting in the cockpit of a C919.

” In the past, some said the best choice for us is to rent]passenger aircraft ] from others, and that the last option is to make our own”, Xi said. ” But we have reversed this notion”.

More than 100, 000 engineers and workers were gathered over the course of the next ten years to work on the C919. With total investment of hundreds of billions of yuan, they came from 36 tertiary institutions and 200 businesses across China.

Beijing’s persistent pursuit of its own airliner makes sense economically, as it can use its enormous market and state resources to ensure the C919 gets off the ground.

Between now and 2041, more than one-fifth of the world’s new aircraft will land in Chinese airspace, according to a report from Beijing-based Cinda Securities last year. New plane demand from the world’s second- largest economy will hit 9, 284 during that time, worth about US$ 1.47 trillion.

Comac’s own estimates put the country’s demand for narrowbody jets between now and 2041 at 6, 288, a supply with a potential US$ 749.3 billion in value.

Plans are being worked out to increase production as orders become available. The nation’s three biggest state- owned carriers – China Eastern, Air China and China Southern Airlines – have already&nbsp, struck deals&nbsp, with Comac for 100 C919s each.