COMAC closes orders for 330 C919 and ARJ21 jets – report

New customers would be lessors, but details of the agreements had not been revealed during the opening of the Zhuhai Airshow

The Zhuhai Airshow kicked off on Tuesday with reports that COMAC has closed the sale of 300 C919 and 30 ARJ21 jets to several lessors, according to Yicai Global news agency.

The Chinese state-owned manufacturer, however, had not released any confirmation about the deals, such as which leasing companies placed the orders.

The two Chinese commercial jets are on display at the country’s biggest aerospace event, which takes place this year after being canceled in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The C919 made its first appearance at the Zhuhai Airshow, although prototypes have been flying since 2017. With the program delayed, COMAC would have preferred not to waste time on public demonstrations.

Two C919 test aircraft (COMAC)

Weeks ago, the 168-seat aircraft received the type certificate from CAAC, China’s civil aviation authority, paving the way for the first production C919 to be delivered to China Eastern Airlines in December.

Unlike companies like Boeing and Airbus, which detail firm orders, options and letters of intent, COMAC is unclear about its order backlog. The Shanghai-based company says it only has 815 orders from 28 customers for the C919 and 616 orders from 23 customers for the ARJ21 – not counting the 330 new orders.

With the new agreements, the C919 would reach 1,115 orders and the ARJ21, 946 aircraft on order.

Chengdu Airlines ARJ21 (Danny Yu)


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