(Yicai Global) June 15 -- China's first self-developed large passenger aircraft, the C919, has successfully completed all test flights and will soon receive its airworthiness certificate, the vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said yesterday.
The news signals that the large single-aisle trunk airliner will start commercial flights soon. China has signed 204 bilateral airworthiness agreements with 27 countries and regions, including Canada, Brazil, Australia and Russia, which means that C919 flights can serve international as well as domestic routes.
The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China began developing the C919, which has a range of up to 5,555 kilometers and as many as 168 seats, in 2008. On May 16, its first aircraft numbered B-001J successfully completed test flights.
COMAC has already received 815 orders amounting to CNY500 billion (USD74 billion) for the C919 airliner from 28 clients, according to the Beijing-based company’s website. The aircraft has a strong price advantage when compared with the same class of airplane such as the US’ Boeing 737 and Holland’s Airbus A320. Thirty-four planes have been bought by overseas clients.
COMAC predicts that 40,664 new aircraft will be delivered between 2020 and 2039, with a market value of USD5.9 trillion. Sales of COMAC's C919 and its smaller ARJ21 model could reach USD732 billion.
Editor: Kim Taylor