aviation industry

China’s C919 narrowbody jet receives regulatory nod for mass production

Reuters
China’s C919 narrowbody jet receives regulatory nod for mass production

C919. A staff member is congratulated as he steps out of China's homegrown C919 passenger jet following its maiden flight at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, May 5, 2017.

Aly Song/Reuters

Maiden customer China Eastern Airlines is due to take delivery of its first C919 in December 2022 and is expected to operate passenger flights with the type from the first half of 2023

China’s aviation regulator has issued a production certificate allowing for the mass production of the homegrown C919 narrowbody jet, manufacturer Commercial Aviation Corporation of China (COMAC) said on Tuesday, November 29.

The C919, a rival to the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle jet families, had received a type certificate in September declaring the model safe to fly but each individual jet manufactured had needed a separate sign-off from the regulator upon production.

The C919’s regional jet predecessor, the ARJ21, faced a 2.5-year gap between obtaining the type certificate and the production certificate, slowing production. That contrasts with the West, where both certificates are typically granted around the same time.

Maiden customer China Eastern Airlines is due to take delivery of its first C919 next month and is expected to operate passenger flights with the type from the first half of next year.

Jefferies analysts said last month that they expected COMAC to reach production of around 25 C919s per year by 2030, well behind the current monthly rates of narrowbody production at Airbus and Boeing.

Although the C919 is assembled in China, it relies heavily on Western components, including engines and avionics, from companies including GE, Safran, and Honeywell International.

Tough US export licensing rules have led to delays in sourcing parts and remain a key risk to ramped up production until China replaces foreign engines and components with homegrown technology. – Rappler.com

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