Comprehensive aviation upgrade in the offing

By ZHU WENQIAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-07-03 07:02
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China Eastern Airlines' first commercial flight using the C919, China's first self-developed single-aisle aircraft built by Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, flies over Shanghai's iconic buildings on May 28. SHI LEI/NANFANG DAILY

C919 takeoff heralds market for China-built planes worth $139 billion by 2043; focus shifts to breakthroughs in core tech

The C919, China's first domestically developed narrow-body large passenger jet, which was put into commercial operation in late May, is expected to further boost the capacity of the air travel market and drive the comprehensive upgrade of the country's civil aviation industrial chain, experts said.

Since May 29, Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines has been using a C919 aircraft on its regular round-trip flights between Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and Chengdu Tianfu International Airport in Sichuan province.

The State-owned China Eastern, one of the largest domestic carriers in terms of fleet size, operates more than 20 daily flights between Shanghai and Chengdu. The new C919 aircraft will allow the carrier to become more unhurried in arranging its flights on the route, it said.

With more C919 aircraft likely to enter the commercial passenger flight market, China Eastern will use the model built by Commercial Aircraft Corp of China for more domestic flights. The airline said Sichuan and Chongqing in Southwest China are building a world-class airport cluster, and the region presents significant growth prospects as air travel demand is surging.

"COMAC's C919 production capacity is on growth track, and we are optimistic about the development of the large aircraft industrial chain in China. In the next 20 years, the value of orders for domestically developed aircraft is expected to exceed 1 trillion yuan ($137.7 billion).More domestically developed components in the industrial chain are expected to emerge," said a research report of Zheshang Securities.

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