BEIJING- Deliveries of China’s domestic narrow-body C919, which has yet to be certified by the country’s aviation authority, are scheduled to begin in 2022, local media quoted an official at state-owned aircraft manufacturer COMAC as saying on Wednesday (19).
Wu Yongliang, deputy general manager of COMAC, was speaking on the sidelines of an annual meeting of the political advisory body for the city of Shanghai, where COMAC is based, according to government-backed media outlet The Paper.
The C919 aircraft, China’s ambitions to compete with Aibus SE and Boeing Co, previously fell short of a previously stated goal of achieving certification by the end of 2021, with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) saying the program only has 34 of them 276 certification tests completed planned.
When asked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the C919 program, Wu said the impact is manageable and the relevant work is being carried out properly, according to The Paper.
Reuters reported in September that COMAC has found it more difficult to meet certification and production targets for the C919 amid strict US export regulations, according to people familiar with the program.
Leeham News analyst Scott Hamilton said in a note Monday he expects the jet to enter service in 2023 or 2024.
China Eastern Airlines is the launch customer for the C919 and has a firm order to purchase five of the narrow-body aircraft.