C919 receives certificate for mass production

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China’s aviation regulator has issued a production certificate allowing mass production of the C919 narrow-body jetliner, Commercial Aviation Corp of China (COMAC) said Tuesday.

The C919, a rival to the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX families of single-aisle aircraft, had received an approval certificate in September declaring the model safe to fly, but each of the manufactured aircraft needed individual clearance from the regulator for production.

Nigeria would consider buying China’s C919 plane for new airline.

The C919’s predecessor, the ARJ21, had to wait two and a half years between obtaining the type-approval certificate and the production certificate, which slowed production. This is in contrast to the West, where both certificates are usually granted around the same time, Reuters reported.

The initial customer, China Eastern Airlines, will take delivery of its first C919 in December and is expected to operate passenger flights from the first half of 2023.

Analysts at Jefferies said last month that they expected COMAC to reach production of about 25 C919s a year by 2030, well behind current monthly production rates for narrow-body aircraft from Airbus and Boeing.

Although the C919 is assembled in China, it relies heavily on Western components, such as engines and avionics, from companies such as GE, Safran and Honeywell International.

Strict U.S. export licensing rules have led to delays in parts supply and remain a key risk to production ramp-up until China replaces foreign engines and components with in-house technology.

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