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C919 debuts overseas service

Homegrown large jetliner makes round-trip flight from Shanghai to HK

By Wang Ying in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-03 07:35

Students from Hong Kong disembark from China Eastern Airlines' flight MU7192 at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on Saturday. TAO LEI/FOR CHINA DAILY

A C919 jet that is part of China Eastern Airlines' fleet launched its first overseas commercial chartered flight on Saturday, making the carrier the first to provide round-trip service between Shanghai and Hong Kong using a domestically made passenger aircraft, according to official sources.

China Eastern Airlines, the first international carrier to purchase a C919, operated the flight from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport to Hong Kong International Airport on Saturday morning and made the return trip that afternoon, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The passengers on the return flight included over 120 Hong Kong students who are participating in a seven-week internship program in Shanghai, the airline said.

Chan Kwok-ki, chief secretary for administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, expressed support and gratitude to China Eastern for transporting the students.

A flight demonstration of the C919 was performed last year in Hong Kong, which inspired a wave of aviation passion and deeply impressed Hong Kong youth, said Chan, who made a speech during a ceremony marking the flight's takeoff at Hong Kong International Airport on Saturday.

The C919 flew over scenic Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong in December, giving visitors on the waterfront a glimpse of the aircraft. The jet celebrated the first anniversary of its commercial operation on Tuesday.

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