Aircraft manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) has delivered the third C919 narrow-body airliner to China Eastern Airlines.
The Chinese state-owned manufacturer delivered the aircraft, registered B-919D, ferrying it from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport (SHA) on December 9, 2023. The three-month-old aircraft, set to launch passenger services shortly, features a two-class cabin layout and accommodates up to 164 passengers, according to a report by China Daily.
The B919D is third of the initial batch of five C919 aircraft ordered by China Eastern Airlines in 2021. The carrier has already received two previous deliveries: the B-919A and the B919C. The inaugural C919 joined the China Eastern Airlines fleet on December 9, 2022, while the second aircraft was delivered in July, entering into service in August 2023. Both aircraft are already operating scheduled passenger flights connecting Shanghai and Chengdu.
In September 2023, China Eastern Airlines made headlines with a groundbreaking almost $10 billion deal with COMAC, placing a substantial order of 100 C919 aircraft. The deal currently holds the title of the largest single order for C919 narrow-body jet so far.
Under the terms of the agreement with the manufacturer, the Chinese carrier anticipates receiving up to ten C919s per year between 2025 and 2027. The delivery is set to increase to 15 aircraft annually from 2028 to 2030, reaching its peak with 20 C919 in 2031.
China’s C919 program was officially launched in 2009, and the first aircraft rolled off the assembly line in 2015. Positioned as a competitor to narrow-body single-aisle planes like the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo, the C919 was granted its type certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on September 29, 2022.
According to COMAC, the C919 stands as the first jetliner entirely developed by a Chinese entity “in accordance with internationally accepted airworthiness standards” and “with independent intellectual property rights”.
The manufacturer claims, the aircraft can seat between 158 and 168 passengers, offering a range spanning 4,075 to 5,555 kilometers.