Business International: 'Made in China' aircraft is about to be certified

China may be about to certify the Comac C919, bringing the plane closer to its first commercial flight.

Chinese media reported that the C919 - an aircraft with ambitions to compete with Boeing and Airbus - could be granted this certification as early as September 19. The C919 is a product of China Commercial Aircraft Corporation (Comac).

The information comes after the two C919s first landed at the airport in Beijing on September 13, according to FlightRadar24 data. The two aircraft were escorted by an ARJ-21, the Comac jet model already in service.

Comac C919 aircraft. Photo: Bloomberg

Comac has been waiting a long time to get the C919's airworthiness certificate. Certification from China's aviation authorities will pave the way for commercial flights for the C919 after 14 years of research and development. The model flew its first test flight in 2017, but missed its initial delivery deadline of late 2021.

China Eastern Airlines is expected to be the first airline to operate the Chinese-made aircraft. However, according to the mid-year plan, the Shanghai-based carrier will receive one C919 this year, instead of three.

Comac says the C919 has received hundreds of orders. This narrow-body model can accommodate 168 - 190 passengers.

China is one of the fastest growing civil aviation markets in the world. Production of the C919 is the country's ambitious attempt to self-sufficiency in growing demand, as well as reducing dependence on two Western manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus.

Besides, Beijing also wants to bring Comac into the global aviation industry. C919 was once mentioned by Chinese President Xi Jinping in a 2017 report. He called it the driving force behind China's "new development model" along with other scientific and technical achievements. The C919 also helps put China on the list of few countries that can design and manufacture their own aircraft, including the US, Russia, Brazil, Canada, Britain, France and Germany.

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