July 16, 2024

China’s Locally Produced C919 Jet Unveiled in Hong Kong

This marks an important milestone in Beijing’s ambition to compete with European and US rivals in the aviation industry and reduce its reliance on foreign technology. The sleek and narrow-body C919, built by the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), is seen as a challenger to foreign models such as the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320.

The C919 is currently on display at Hong Kong International Airport and will fly over Victoria Harbor on Saturday. Hong Kong leader John Lee praised the development of the C919 and its smaller predecessor, the ARJ21, as significant achievements for China’s aviation sector. This successful development demonstrates China’s leading position in the transportation manufacturing industry, Lee stated during a ceremony at the airport.

According to officials, the C919 has received over 1,061 orders from more than 30 clients. China has heavily invested in the production of the C919 as part of its efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in key technologies. However, it is important to note that many of the C919’s parts are sourced from overseas. While the jet received official certification to fly last year after a decade of development, it has yet to secure any international buyers.

Officials also highlighted the advanced aerodynamic design, state-of-the-art propulsion system, and advanced materials of the C919. These features contribute to lower emissions and better fuel efficiency. The aircraft can be configured to accommodate between 158 and 192 seats and has a maximum range of 5,555 kilometers.

Asian markets, particularly China, are crucial targets for European manufacturer Airbus and its American competitor Boeing, as they look to capitalize on the growing demand for air travel from the country’s middle class. Earlier this year, Airbus announced plans to double its production capacity in China by signing a deal to build a second final assembly line for the A320 in Tianjin. The unveiling of the C919 in Hong Kong signifies China’s determination to establish itself as a major player in the global aviation industry.

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1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it