As the first customer C919 completes its inaugural test flight, we look at the largest orders for the Chinese narrowbody.
Image: Ken Chen
The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) has completed the test flight of the first home-made C919 aircraft to be delivered to a customer. Using flight data from IBA Insight, we can see the aircraft operated a flight to and from Shanghai Pudong International Airport, departing at 06:52am and returning at 09:54am local time. Comac reported that the aircraft completed all scheduled tasks and performed well overall. This first production aircraft is expected to be delivered to China Eastern Airlines in 2022.
Notable customers include major Chinese lessors ABC financial leasing, ICBC Financial Leasing, and Bocomm Leasing. The aircraft is equipped with CFM LEAP engines and is pitched as a competitor to the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320neo family aircraft in the narrowbody market.
According to a press release on 10 May 2022, China Eastern Airlines plans to raise up to 15 billion yuan ($2.23 billion USD) from share sales. This is intended to replenish working capital at the airline and expand its fleet. Based on filings to the Shanghai stock exchange, the airline will use 10.5 billion yuan of the proceeds from the share sale to fund the purchase of 38 aircraft. These will include 4 x C919, 24 x ARJ21-700, 6 x Airbus A350-900, and 4 x Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
1 USD = 6.6 RMB
This aircraft order data from China Eastern Airlines has revealed the list price of the Comac C919 for the first time. Whilst the real transaction price is often far below a list price, we believe it is far too early to compare the C919's fair market value with its intended Boeing and Airbus competitors, given that the program is relatively new, and no trading points are available on the secondary market
IBA will monitor all developments in the C919 program, and our experts will report regularly on key insights and milestones in the aircraft's launch and further development.
IBA Insight flexibly illustrates multiple asset, fleet, and market positions, actual and potential, to inform client choices and identify acquisition opportunities. Immediate access to crucial aircraft, engine, lease rate and fleet data eases appreciation of historic and future aircraft concentrations and operator profiles.
Since the 1980's, China's aviation sector has seen a rapid rise from being virtually non-existent in the late 20th century, to the second largest in the world by 2005.