China Eastern Airlines (CEA) is expected to put the country’s first domestically-built passenger jet C919 into commercial operation next year.
According to Wang Jian, board secretary of CEA, the first C919 is expected to be put into commercial operation as soon as in the first half of next year after meeting the requirements of the country’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
The first C919 will be delivered to CEA by the end of 2022, and the remaining orders will be delivered in the next year or two based on the supplier’s production and delivery plan, Wang added.
A C919 plane, numbered B-001J, repainted with CEA’s livery, completed its first test flight at Pudong International Airport on Tuesday.
The plane took off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 8:05 a.m. and returned at 01:00 p.m, with a test flight of 4 hours and 55 minutes.
The development project of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) was approved in 2007, with the narrow-body single-aisle passenger jet designed to compete with Boeing’s 737 and Airbus’ A320.
The production of the first prototype began in December 2011 and was completed in 2015. The plane made its successful maiden flight in May 2017.
The CEA signed a contract to buy five C919 in March 2021 as the first commercial deal for the plane.
This article is originally published at cgtn.com