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China's home-grown C919 aircraft to start deliveries in 2022 - official

01/19/2022 | 10:22am EDT
The fifth prototype of China's home-built C919 passenger plane takes off for its first test flight from Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai

BEIJING (Reuters) -Deliveries of China's home-grown narrow-body C919 aircraft, which is yet to be certified by the country's aviation regulator, are expected to start in 2022, local media cited an official with the state planemaker COMAC as saying on Wednesday.

Wu Yongliang, deputy general manager of COMAC, made the comments on the sidelines of an annual meeting of the political advisory body for Shanghai city, where COMAC is based, according to the government-backed media outlet The Paper.

The C919 aircraft, China's ambition to rival Aibus SE and Boeing Co, earlier missed a previously stated target of achieving certification by the end of 2021, with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) saying the programme only completed 34 certification tests out of 276 planned.

When asked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the C919 programme, Wu said the impact was manageable and relevant work was being carried out in an orderly manner, according to The Paper.

Reuters in September reported COMAC has found it harder to meet certification and production targets for the C919 amid tough U.S. export rules, according to people with knowledge of the programme.

Leeham News analyst Scott Hamilton said in a note on Monday he expects the entry into service of the jet to be in 2023 or 2024.

China Eastern Airlines is the launch customer for the C919 and has a firm order to buy five of the narrow-body aircraft.

(Reporting by Stella Qiu, Ella Cao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Bernadette Baum)


© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES CORPORATION LIMITED 2.18% 4.69 End-of-day quote.-9.11%
THE BOEING COMPANY -0.71% 123.8401 Delayed Quote.-36.82%
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