At the end of October it was announced that China Eastern Airlines would receive the first example of the aircraft in mid-December, an aircraft that was developed entirely in China.
On Friday (December 9), the airline received the short and medium-haul aircraft with the registration B-919A.
The delivery flight MU919 departed from Shanghai Pudong Airport for nearby Shanghai Hongqiao Airport.
Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) specifies the range of the C919 as 4,075 to 5,555 kilometers and can be equipped with 158 to 192 seats. China Eastern opted for 164 seats – eight in business class and 156 in economy class.
Equipped with CFM International LEAP-1C engines, the C919 began its formal certification campaign at the end of 2020, three and a half years after its first flight in May 2017.
However, there were repeated delays and it was not until September 2022 that the model finally received type certification in China.
Listen! The engines are roaring.
The #C919, flight number MU919, registration number B-919A, has joined #CEAir's #fleet!
It takes off from #Shanghai #Pudong Airport and will land in Hongqiao Airport. We'll set off soon!✈️#MeetUinC919 pic.twitter.com/peRE3xJkY6
— China Eastern Airlines (@CEAirglobal) December 9, 2022
The six copies planned for this campaign have already completed their test flights.
COMAC plans to assemble around 25 C919s each year by 2030.
A month ago, COMAC announced that it had received 330 new orders for its single-aisle aircraft (300 for the C919, 30 for the ARJ21), placed according to the Xinhua agency by the leasing companies China Development Bank Leasing, ICBC Leasing, CCB Financial Leasing, BOCOM Leasing, CMB Financial Leasing, SPDB Financial Leasing and Suyin Financial Leasing.
According to the company, there are now orders for a total of 1115 copies – all from customers in China.
The C919 is intended to compete with the Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 Max in China.
More than 1,100 jets from the Airbus A320 family and 1,200 Boeing 737 NG are reportedly in service in the country – and will eventually have to be replaced.
A big advantage of the C919 is the price of around USD 95 million. That is almost 20 percent less than an Airbus A320 Neo costs.
Comac will also be hoping for respectable successes abroad, for example in Nigeria.