State-owned aircraft manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) officially announced that its six C919 test planes have fully completed the necessary test flight tasks.
In a statement released on July 23, 2022, COMAC confirmed that six C919 narrow-body test aircraft have completed “all the test flight tasks”, and “marking that the plane certification work has officially entered the final stage”.
The C919 completed its first pre-delivery 3-hour long flight test at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) in China on 14 May 2022.
The plane was initially supposed to enter commercial service in 2016 but has been significantly delayed due to supply problems and other technical difficulties. Local certification was then targeted for 2021. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic ruined the manufacturer’s plans.
Even though COMAC expects to begin C919 deliveries in 2022, the jet, which was destined to compete against the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX, is still yet to be certified by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA) is set to become the first customer to operate the new plane. In March 2021, the carrier committed to purchasing five narrow-body airliners, which can fly between 156 and 168 passengers in a standard cabin configuration on a journey of up to 5,555 kilometers.