China Eastern Airlines, the first airline to receive a C919 from the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), has removed the first commercial flight of the type from its schedule, replacing it with an Airbus A320.
The Chinese airline had tentatively scheduled the domestically built aircraft to operate Flight MU9191 and the return journey, MU9192, between Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) and Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), on February 28, 2023.
As of February 9, 2023, China Eastern Airlines’ COMAC C919, registered as B-919A, last flew from Yangzhou Taizhou Airport (YTY) to Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) on February 2, 2023. Since then, it has stayed at PVG. The schedule was switched to the Airbus A320 on February 7, 2023, according to AeroRoutes, a website that tracks flight schedule/network changes.
Local media had previously reported that the C919’s first commercial flight was unconfirmed and that the first COMAC C919 commercial flights are expected to start in “the spring”.
COMAC delivered the C919 to China Eastern Airlines in December 2022, and the airline became the first to fly the type. China Eastern has five on order, expecting to receive the four remaining aircraft throughout 2023. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) granted the Type Certificate (TC) to the C919 in September 2022.
The C919, aiming to compete with the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo, seats between 158 and 192 passengers, with a range of between 4,075 and 5,555 kilometers (2,532 and 3450 miles). All three types use different versions of the CFM International LEAP engines, with the C919 using the -1C, while the 737 MAX and A320neo use the -1B and -1A, respectively.
China Eastern Airlines configured its C919 cabin with eight Business Class seats and 156 Economy Class seats.