(MENAFN) China's inaugural domestically produced narrow-body aircraft, the C919, achieved a significant milestone by successfully completing its maiden commercial flight from Shanghai to Beijing. This achievement symbolizes Beijing's ambitious endeavor to challenge the long-standing dominance of global aircraft manufacturing giants.
Developed by the Commercial Aviation Corporation of China (Comac), the C919 took off from Shanghai and reportedly arrived in Beijing smoothly, ahead of schedule by approximately 40 minutes, as reported by local media outlets. Zhang Xiaoguang, the director of marketing and sales at Comac, emphasized the importance of the first commercial flight, referring to it as a "coming-of-age ceremony" for the new aircraft. He expressed confidence that the C919 would further improve and excel if it successfully navigates the challenges of the market.
China Eastern Airlines, a state-run carrier, demonstrated confidence in the C919 by placing an order for five of these jets in March 2021. The initial delivery of the first aircraft took place in December of the same year, with the remaining aircraft expected to be received later in 2023.
With a seating capacity of 164 passengers in a two-class configuration, featuring both business and economy seating, the C919 offers a remarkable range of up to 5,555 kilometers (3,452 miles). This aircraft is positioned as a potential disruptor in the market, aiming to challenge the longstanding dominance of single-aisle jets manufactured by industry titans Airbus and Boeing.
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