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Is the New Rival to Boeing and Airbus Coming to an Airport Near You?

Chinese manufacturer wants to challenge Airbus and Boeing for narrowbody marketplace

Will airlines start flying a Chinese-built competitor to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families? A state-owned manufacturer wants to earn orders from all parts of the world, hoping to break into the industry dominated by the two major airframe builders. The Telegraph reports COMAC, the builder of the C919, is hoping to attract orders from the world’s biggest carriers starting by 2020.

The C919 was originally unveiled in 2015, with an all-economy capacity of 168 passengers and a range of over 2,500 miles. The goal was to reduce the nation’s reliance on both Airbus and Boeing for their rapidly expanding aviation industry, despite both manufacturers working to improve workflow in China. Since then, their ambitions have grown to make the C919 a leading competitor for mid-range flights.

When configured correctly, the Chinese manufacturer claims their aircraft could travel up to 3,000 miles – the distance between New York and Los Angeles. The builder claims they have earned 20 orders from General Electric for new airframes, which could be airworthy as soon as 2020. Ryanair has also expressed interest in the aircraft, in the form of a cooperation agreement.

However, the C919 flying under the Ryanair brand may not necessarily be coming soon. The low-cost carrier is proud of their all-Boeing fleet, citing it as one way to keep airfares low. In addition, in order to break into the international marketplace, the C919 would need to earn certifications and approval from other regulatory bodies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Administration. While the United States and China have an agreement which allows regulatory standard certification for “aeronautical products” from one country to the other, there is no indication this would apply to the C919.

Despite the hurdles, COMAC is moving forward with earning orders for their new aircraft. Currently, The Telegraph reports the builder has 785 orders for the C919, primarily from Chinese carriers.


[Image: Wikimedia Commons]

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FlyingNone January 16, 2018

@GetSetJetSet, Agreed x 1000. To the people who write these short articles which are usually days old and lack major details: Do you guys work for FlyerTalk?, because you're giving them a bad name.

GetSetJetSet January 15, 2018

Do any of your "articles" ever have any substantive information or a body that more or less matches the headline? I need to learn to stop clicking on anything by you.