China Eastern Airlines has tentatively scheduled the first COMAC C919 flight.
The aircraft, registered appropriately as B-919A, is scheduled to operate flight MU9191 on May 28, 2023. The domestically made narrow-body jet will fly between Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) and Beijing Capital Airport (PEK), completing the return journey on the same day.
Chinese state-owned media outlet Global Times has reported that the airline will operate flights with the COMAC C919 “soon”.
China Eastern Airlines has previously scheduled flights with the COMAC C919 in February 2023, when the airline’s schedule indicated that the aircraft would operate the flight MU9191 on February 28, 2023. Later, the C919 was replaced with the Airbus A320.
Local media has reported that the C919 would fly in “the Spring”.
China Eastern Airlines took delivery of the COMAC C919 in December 2023, the first of the five aircraft of the type it has ordered so far. When it did so, local media also reported that before the jet would enter operations, it would go through a 100-flight-hour test program before carrying passengers on commercial services.
However, the aircraft abruptly stopped flying in February 2023, before operating a single flight in March 2023. On May 17, 2023, the China Eastern Airlines COMAC C919 began flying once again, operating 19 flights since, according to flightradar24.com records.
Aiming to compete with the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX, the C919 seats between 158 and 192 passengers, flying up to between 4,075 and 5,555 kilometers (2,532 and 3450 miles). Despite being built by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), much like the A320neo and 737 MAX, it is powered by the CFM International LEAP-1C engine, while the A320neo and 737 MAX use the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B respectively.
CFM International is a joint venture between General Electric (GE) and Safran Aircraft Engines.
Airlines buying the A320neo family aircraft also have the option to use the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines.
China Eastern Airlines’ COMAC C919 is configured in a two-class layout, seating eight Business Class and 156 Economy Class passengers.