China jet to rival Boeing, Airbus

2010-11-16 11:27

Beijing - China has unveiled its first large domestically produced passenger jet, which aims to compete with Airbus and Boeing in the global aviation market, state media reported on Tuesday.

The C919 prototype made its debut at an aviation exhibition in the southern province of Guangdong, and three major state-owned airlines were due to sign deals to buy the aircraft on Tuesday, the official China Daily said.

The report did not disclose the names of the customers, but China's three main state-owned carriers are Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern.

The aircraft will take to the air at the show being held in the city of Zhuhai, it said.

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), the aircraft's manufacturer, has forecast demand for C919s in the domestic and overseas markets to hit 2 000, the report quoted COMAC vice-president Wu Guanghui as saying.

The single-aisle jet, which seats between 168 and 190 passengers, is due to make a trial flight in 2014 and be delivered to clients in 2016. It is seen as a potential competitor to the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737.

It is part of China's plan to break the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing in the production of large commercial aircraft, and could dampen prospects for the two industry giants in what will soon become the world's biggest aviation market.

Air traffic in China, which has doubled in the past decade, is again expected to double by 2020, with the number of airports growing from 160 to 240, according to forecasts drawn up by Airbus.

The head of China's civil aviation administration said last month that the country would have up to 5 000 aircraft to transport passengers and cargo by 2015, state media reported.

  • W0lvEriNE - 2010-11-16 11:38

    I am SO NOT getting on a plane that has 'made in china' embossed on it's undercarriage...

      milestonemoss - 2010-11-16 11:51

      So am I !!!

  • bernie.omahony - 2010-11-16 11:55

    You've got to be kidding me right? How the hell does a single aisle aircraft that holds only an average 200 passengers, come anywhere close to competing with Airbus and Boeing? Get real! Besides which, I would NEVER EVER travel on ANY aircraft made in China, and for them to say this is going to be 'competitive' is just another reason to laugh these idiots off the planet!

  • duanedrop - 2010-11-16 14:23

    @bernie. actually the capacity of all aircraft currently service domestic routes in the world is around the 180-200 capacity. this is the ideal size for a plane serving the domestic market putting them in direct competition with the Boeing 737-800 (200's 300's are being phased out and the 400 has slightly less capacity) Airbus has similar capacity planes in that sector. When you get onto the 747's the capcity goes up but those are used on long haul.

  • Barry M - 2010-11-16 15:06

    If this thing is built to their normal standards it won’t be safe, not even close – most of what the Chinese make these days falls apart 24 hours after the warranty expires – any airline that puts this thing into its fleet is being irresponsible and I won’t fly in one of these aircraft! Watch this space – I predict a spate of un-survivable airline incidents and accidents involving this aircraft.

  • raykhado - 2011-02-14 14:50

    I think these people are only afraid of competition,let china come with its own inovations because they have proved beyond this,Westerners only believe that products thats are not produced by the west are not good.

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