C919 jet lands in Hong Kong, completing first flight outside mainland China

COMAC aircraft and the ARJ21 regional jet will be on display at Hong Kong International Airport until Sunday, performing in-flight demonstrations

A C919 test aircraft, China’s first fully developed commercial jet, landed at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday, December 12.

It is the first time that the aircraft has flown outside mainland China and will be on display, alongside the ARJ21 regional jet, until Sunday. A flight over Victoria Harbor is expected to take place on Saturday, according to local media.

The C919 has been in development for almost 16 years and was created with the mission of being an alternative to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 models.

The aircraft has several technological advances such as fly-by-wire controls and efficient engines, but it does not have a construction as focused on composite materials as its direct rivals, the 737 MAX and the A320neo.

The ARJ21 regional jet in Hong Kong (Social media)

COMAC, however, depends on many Western suppliers to build it, as is the case with the Leap-1C turbofan engines.

Despite this, the C919 would be a much lower-priced commercial jet, which is not surprising since its manufacturer belongs to the Chinese government.

The C919 has been in regular operation for just over six months, when China Eastern Airlines put the first plane into service. A second example began flying in August and on Saturday, December 9, COMAC delivered the third aircraft.

Configured with 164 seats in two classes, the C919 is expected to play an increasingly important role for the Chinese airline, which has 105 firm orders to be received by 2031.