China's new aircraft - will it change how we fly?


High hopes are pinned on Comac's new C919. Image credit - Comac


China's newest airliner flew for the first time this week. It may well change the way that people around the world fly.


The C919 is built by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) and offers a similar passenger capacity and range as rival aircraft made by Boeing and Airbus.

If the C919 is able to break the effective duopoly of these two firms, then airlines around the world will have an extra supplier to choose from when ordering new aircraft.

This should bring the prices of airliners down, and could ultimately result in lower ticket prices for passengers.

The aircraft also competes with regional jets such as the Embraer E-Jet, an aircraft used by a number of airlines in China for smaller markets.

The news follows our report in 2016 that China's first jet airliner had made its first commercial flight during that year..

The ARJ21, also made by Comac, has a price tag of $30 million, and can carry up to 105 passengers over 2,000 nautical miles.

The first aircraft was delivered to Chengdu Airlines, and flew from Chengdu to Shanghai. There are over 300 ARJ21's on order from a wide variety of airlines.

Comac's ARJ21 and C919 are seen by analysts as a major step-forward in China being able to build competitive airliners domestically.

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News | May 15,2017


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