Chinese Comac’s C919 plane rolled out for the first time in Shanghai. First deliveries should happen in 2020.
The Chinese medium-haul plane was created in order to compete with Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircrafts. The C919 is announced to make its very first flight during the second semester of 2016 instead of the end of 2015 as it was predicted. Furthermore, first deliveries were expected in 2018 but won’t happen before 2020. As Boeing and Airbus, the C919 is largely made of aluminium. Chinese authorities have declared that the medium-haul plane would be 10% cheaper than its competitors.
This announcement is a real godsend for the French engine manufacturer Safran. Indeed, the French company was the only chosen supplier of motors to Comac. In fact, the equipments provided by Safran will represent from 25% to 30% of the price of the plane. Safran has a partnership with the American General Electric and will supply its new Leap motor in order to fling the C919.
Even before its first flight, C919 has already registered more than 500 orders with Chinese air companies and about ten more with Thai companies. The main goal of Comac is to sell about 2,000 copies of its new plane in China. But the Chinese consortium is more ambitious than that. Indeed, the company hopes to sell 6,330 aircrafts in the next twenty years that could make Comac earn 950 billion dollars.
Benjamin Rougé-Thomas, IEJ 3F