COMAC C919 B-001F aircraft

Air China close to ordering 100 COMAC C919 jets

Agreement worth US$10.8 billion complements the first acquisition of six aircraft. Deliveries will take place between 2024 and 2031

Air China is following in the footsteps of China Eastern Airlines in introducing the COMAC C919 single-aisle jet into its fleet.

After acquiring six aircraft at the end of last year, the carrier revealed that it is closing a new deal for 100 C919s worth an estimated US$10.8 billion.

The new jets, which are rivals to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, will be delivered between 2024 and 2031.

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The choice of the C919 was already expected, after all, the Chinese government advises state-owned airlines to buy jets developed in the country.

The ARJ21-700, a 90-seat regional jet also manufactured by COMAC, already has 25 aircraft in service with Air China.

Air China ARJ21 (N509FZ)

C919 orders from Chinese state carriers

China Eastern Airlines was the launch customer for the C919, an aircraft with a similar appearance to the A320neo and which uses Leap-1C engines, supplied by CFM.

The first commercial jet debuted almost a year ago and since then China Eastern has received another four C919s, part of the first agreement reached with COMAC.

In September last year, the Shanghai-based carrier placed a new order, this time for 100 C919 aircraft.

China Eastern Airlines is the sole operator of the C919 to date (C919商业首飞)

In the case of Air China, however, the expansion of orders occurs even before the airline receives its first plane.

Production of the C919 is about to gain momentum, as COMAC adjusts the assembly line and improves the aircraft based on feedback from the operation with China Eastern.

The Chinese government wants to go further and start exporting its commercial jets at a time when Airbus is struggling to keep up with demand and Boeing is undergoing great scrutiny over quality and safety issues.


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