World’s First COMAC C919 Aircraft Delivered to China Eastern Airlines

A COMAC C919 passes overhead.
N509FZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – The world’s first C919 aircraft, with registration number of B-919A, was delivered to its world’s first launch customer, China Eastern Airlines (CEA).

The COMAC C919 is China’s first homegrown large passenger aircraft in accordance with international airworthiness standards, and owns independent intellectual property rights.

It features advanced aerodynamic design, propulsion system and materials, as well as lower carbon emission and higher fuel efficiency.

A pattern of a Chinese seal reading “world’s first C919” in Chinese is printed in the front part of the aircraft delivered.

The aircraft adopts a 164-seat configuration that comes with a two-class cabin layout, including 8 business class seats and 156 economy class ones. In the economy cabin, the middle seat in each three-seat row is 1.5 cm wider than its neighboring ones, which offers more comfortableness.

With an aisle height of 2.25 meters, the plane comes with an efficient air filtration system, a passenger-centric lighting system and low noise.

Besides, there are twenty 12” drop-down screens that can play 1080P videos.

On the day of the delivery, a maiden flight of the C919 aircraft was made by three senior CEA pilots from the Shanghai Pudong International Airport to the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport.

After arriving at the Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and passing through a water gate, the aircraft was officially commissioned into the fleet of CEA.

It is expected to be put into commercial use in the spring of 2023.

CEA, as the world’s first airline operator for C919, boasts a fleet of nearly 800 airplanes. It has rich operational experience and enjoys comprehensive advantages.

Passengers will soon be able to catch an early experience of the superior and reliable performance of the C919 with CEA.

About the COMAC C919

China is increasingly entering the narrow-body jet market and hopes to compete with Airbus and Boeing. The country’s COMAC C919 aircraft received type certification in October this year.

COMAC has been working on the C919 since 2008, and very rarely revealed its plans and progress on the programme. The company’s previous publicly stated target for certification was the end of 2020.

Other COMAC representatives have previously stated that they aimed to achieve certification and deliver the first machine by the end of 2021. The launch airline was always slated to be China Eastern Airlines.

The COMAC C919 is a twin-engine jet that, depending on its configuration, will be able to accommodate between 150 and nearly 200 passengers, and has been specified to have a range of between 4,000 and 5,500 km, depending upon the version.

It will also be a direct competitor to the world’s most popular passenger aircraft – Airbus A320 and Boeing 737. The C919 is powered by CFM International LEAP-1C engines.

The company plans to expand the project with new enlarged and downsized variants of the aircraft, as well as cargo and VIP versions.

By 2035, the manufacturer plans to capture a third of China’s narrow-body aircraft market share and a fifth of the global market.

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