The Chinese COMAC C919 Receives Type Certification

The Chinese COMAC C919 Is Now Type Certified

On the 29th of September 2022, the C919, COMAC’s first Chinese-produced narrowbody aircraft, received type certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The certification was presented at a grand ceremony at Beijing Capital Airport, announcing China’s entry into the global commercial aviation market.

The C919 has now received certification under Part 25 of the China Civil Aviation Regulations, indicating that it is finally prepared for service and has met all applicable Airworthiness Standards for Transport Aircraft (CCAR-25-R3). The launch customer China Eastern Airline is anticipating receiving the first aircraft this year.

The Chinese COMAC C919 Is Now Type Certified
Image source: COMAC

The certification was supposed to take place on September 19th, but it appears that China’s quarantine policies interfered with this plan. President Xi Jinping wanted to attend the C919 certification ceremony, but due to a trip to Uzbekistan on September 14th and 16th, he would have had to be quarantined for ten days upon his return before the event could take place.

The C919 is China’s second modern commercial aircraft after the ARJ21, which is currently regarded as COMAC’s first significant failure on a global scale. However, C919’s development suggests that things are about to change. China has high hopes for sales to increase to the international market in an effort to break the Airbus-Boeing monopoly. As of now, Hainan Airlines, China Construction Bank (lessor), and Air China are among the major investors who have firmed up orders for the type from primarily Chinese buyers. However, GECAS placed an order for 10 with an additional 10 options, which could, in theory, go in any direction.

It is worth mentioning though that it is a historic achievement for Chinese aviation as it has been working on it for almost 14 years now

The Chinese COMAC C919 Is Now Type Certified
Comac C919. Shi Yuge/VCG via Getty Images

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COMAC Vs. Airbus & Boeing?

COMAC Vs. Airbus & Boeing
Image source:

It is well known that China has the second-largest and most significant civil aviation market in the world, closely following the United States of America, and according to predictions, more people will fly between, to, and from China than any other country in the world in less than ten years. Due to this and in an effort to limit the amount of imported aircraft entering China, COMAC decided to create its own family of short- and medium-range aircraft, ensuring that the oligopoly led by Airbus and Boeing won’t hinder the growth of the civil aviation market within China.

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Furthermore, given that the majority of Chinese airlines are owned by the government, it stands to reason that they would favor the C919 for their medium-haul programs. If that is the case, Airbus and Boeing would suffer greatly because COMAC and other Chinese manufacturers would gradually take over the roughly 80% of the market that they currently hold.

COMAC C919 Cockpit
C919’s Cockpit
Image source: Skift

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