China’s COMAC C919 makes international debut at Singapore Airshow


The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) marked a significant milestone as its homegrown airliner, the COMAC C919, made its international debut at the Singapore Airshow.

The attendance to the airshow is a significant step for COMAC in its quest to break the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing in the global passenger market.

The COMAC C919-100ER, registered as B-001F, departed from Shanghai Pudong International Airport in the morning, making a technical stop in Sanya, Hainan, before landing at Changi Airport.

Based on data from FlightRadar24.com, the aircraft, bearing the callsign “B001F”, departed from Shanghai at 9:30 AM local time and arrived in Sanya at 12:40 PM. After more than an hour on the ground, the C919 departed for Singapore at 2:01 PM and arrived at 4:56 PM.  

This is the first time the C919 has flown over international airspace across at least two flight information regions.

The C919 will be participating in the flying display, one of only two solo displays at the show; the other being the Airbus A350-1000.

With Airbus and Boeing struggling to meet demand for new planes, and Boeing dealing with a series of crises, the aviation industry is watching how COMAC positions itself as a viable alternative.

COMAC plans to invest tens of billions of yuan over the next 3-5 years to expand C919 production capacity.

The aviation industry-wide supply crunch, which is testing an expected full return and then growth of civil capacity in Asia, is garnering COMAC more attention.

Adam Cowburn of Alton Aviation Consultancy said in a report from The Straits Times:

We have also seen a growing trend where clients are including the C919 option in their fleet evaluation.

Aviation consultancy IBA forecasts 7-10 C919s could be delivered in 2024, up from only two last year.

Mike Yeomans from IBA commented:

With Airbus and Boeing narrow-bodies in the A320neo and 737 Max families sold out for most of this decade, the C919 has a strong opportunity to gain market share, particularly in its domestic market.

In addition to the C919, COMAC’s ARJ21 also made its appearance at the Singapore Airshow.

Although the ARJ21 is currently operational with low-cost carrier TransNusa in neighboring Indonesia, this is the first time the aircraft type has appeared at an international show.

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