China’s First Large Commercial Passenger Jet Faces Delay

Friday, May 23, 2014
By George Hatcher

The test flight of C919, China’s first large commercial passenger jet, has been delayed till the end of 2015 due to technology problems.

According to Tian Min, the chief financial officer of the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (Comac), the assembly work will be started in the second half of 2014 and the plane will be ready for a test flight at the end of 2015. He also said that the planes are expected to be delivered to buyers in 2018.

The C919, a 168-seater commercial passenger jet, was earlier expected to make its first flight this year, while the delivery to buyers was to begin in 2016.

The Comac executives maintained that the delay has been caused due to the lack of plane-making technologies in China. They said they had to acquire the core components and systems for the C919 from prominent international companies.

The Comac officials also confirmed that around 400 orders have been placed for C919 jets. Tian said in a recent media briefing, “Our plane will target mainly the domestic market and will gradually look to tap the international markets… We put a focus on cost control to make sure our planes are competitive on price.”

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