Chinese plane-maker, COMAC secured a huge 330 C919 aircraft order. This is according to Yakai news report yesterday. It is expected that the first C919 will be delivered to a domestic customer before the end of 2022.
Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) company representatives intimated that about 300 planes in this order will be the narrow-body airliner C919 while the remaining 30 will consist of the ARJ21 regional jets.
Two months ago, COMAC’s C919 received the coveted type rating from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) hence putting a stamp of approval on a Chinese made airliner for the first time.
The Chinese plane-maker is aggressively positioning itself as a force to reckon with by directly competing with the two well known names in commercial aviation: Boeing and Airbus. Of course the veteran manufacturers have a product quality reputation airlines are used to. Thanks to more than half a century experience in business. COMAC on the other hand will need to proof itself as far as the safety of their planes is concerned. Otherwise, the risk of being a white elephant that few airlines would want to be stuck with is huge.
But even though Airbus and Boeing are a couple of notches ahead of COMAC, the latter’s narrow aisle C919 was designed and made with almost similar features and attributes that the American and the European plane-makers’ best seller jetliners have.
For example, whereas the Airbus A320 carries 140-170 passengers, the C919 will be equipped with 148-168 seats while the typical Boeing 737 Max-8 is designed to carry 162-189 passengers.
In terms of range, the Boeing 737-MAX-8 has a range of 6,574km while the C919’s range is about 5,555km. On the other hand, Europe’s commercial aviation giant, Airbus designed their A320 with a range of between 5,740-6,940km. This puts the C919 squarely as formidable adversary to Boeing and Airbus’ duopoly in the narrow-aisle short-range airliner market.
Of course it is worth noting that COMAC’s product quality has not been proven in a real world airline industry and that the two western jet-makers’ stranglehold in commercial aviation will last for a while as they already enjoy a healthy market share world wide.