Locally developed passenger jet nets 300 new orders
The C919, China's first self-developed single-aisle passenger jet, netted 300 new orders on Tuesday from seven domestic aircraft leasing companies at the 14th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province.
The orders indicate the aircraft model has gained wider recognition after it recently received its type certificate, experts said.
The seven leasing companies signed agreements with Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, its manufacturer, during the Zhuhai Airshow, which began on Tuesday and runs through Sunday.
The companies are: China Development Bank Financial Leasing, ICBC Financial Leasing, CCB Financial Leasing, Bank of Communications Financial Leasing, CMB Financial Leasing, SPDB Financial Leasing and Jiangsu Financial Leasing.
The C919 received its type certificate, which gives the design approval, in late September from the Civil Aviation Administration of China. The first aircraft is expected to be delivered to China Eastern Airlines in December.
So far, 1,115 orders have been placed for the C919 from home and abroad. Comparable to the Airbus A320 family aircraft and the Boeing B737 series, the C919 is predicted to break the market duopoly of Boeing and Airbus and help China's aviation industry enter the fast lane, experts said.
"It has been the biggest new aircraft order signed during the Zhuhai Airshow this year, indicating that the C919 will enter the global aircraft market on a large scale," said Lin Zhijie, an aviation industry analyst and a columnist at Carnoc, a major civil aviation website.
"The commercial debut of the C919 soon, will provide more choices for global carriers and help them lower their operational costs, and offer convenient services for passengers," Lin said.
The C919 was also part of the Zhuhai Airshow's aerial display on Tuesday, the first time that the plane has participated in a performance at an international airshow.
Meanwhile, three leasing companies signed orders to purchase 30 ARJ21 regional jetliners from COMAC at the airshow. The ARJ21 is the first domestically made regional passenger jet and obtained its certification in 2014.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, China's domestic air travel market is steadily picking up, and major domestic airlines have announced plans to increase the number of scheduled international flights.
US aircraft manufacturer Boeing predicted last month that by 2041, China will require 8,485 new airplanes valued at $1.5 trillion to serve passengers and trade, representing more than one-fifth of global aircraft deliveries over the next two decades.