The first C919 aircraft, developed by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), will soon enter the final assembly phase, the Chinese aviation regulator told Reuters on September 13, 2021. It is bound to be delivered to launch customer China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA).

In March 2021, China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA) signed a purchase contract with COMAC to acquire five C919 aircraft. The Shanghai-based carrier will become the first operator of C919 aircraft in the world. 

C919 aircraft is a narrowbody developed by Chinese aircraft manufacturer COMAC. The first C919 was rolled out in 2015. The C919 was initially supposed to enter commercial service in 2016 but it was delayed due to technical difficulties and supply issues. 

The narrowbody, destined for competition against the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX, made its first test flight in 2017. Now, COMAC aims for C919 local certification by the end of 2021.

The C919 has a range of 4,075 to 5,555 kilometers, and a capability to seat up to 168 passengers. Currently, a total of 815 C919 orders have been obtained from 28 customers, the COMAC data shows.

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While the COMAC C919 is constantly pitted against the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX, does it truly need to compete against the two?