Saturday, July 20, 2024

China’s 1st Homegrown Aircraft C919 Delivered, Another Option in Global Commercial Aviation Market?

The COMAC #C919, China’s first domestically-developed narrow-body passenger jet with more than 100 seats, was delivered to its first customer, China Eastern Airlines, on December 9.

The current fleet of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) mainly consists of Airbus A320-200, ATR 42, ATR 72, Boeing 777-200, and Boeing 777-300ER.

Is China’s C919 now effectively the third option in the global market for planes, given at present the global commercial aviation industry is a duopoly? It is worth mentioning that #Boeing of the United States and #Airbus of Europe have a combined 91% share of the commercial aircraft market.

Pakistan and China have always been powerful combinations in aviation.

In mid-October, around 49 percent work has been completed in the ongoing construction of New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA), an iconic project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), GPA official said, adding that it has moved into top gear that will make it possible to finish the completion task in September 2023. Test flight is highly likely next March, he mentioned.

NGIA will be the biggest airport in Pakistan and it will have the capacity to accommodate narrow-body aircraft such as ATR 72 and Boeing B-737, as well as wide-body aircraft such as Airbus A-380 and Boeing B-747 for domestic and international routes. The airport will be operated under an open sky policy and will be developed under the guidance of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

In March the Pakistan Air Force held an induction ceremony for the first batch of six J-10CE fighter jets in Kamra, witnessing a new chapter in aviation defense cooperation between Pakistan and China. Pakistan is a traditional and important partner of Chinese aviation arms products, the aircraft’s maker Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) said, noting that the country not only commissioned the J-6 fighter, the J-7 fighter and the Q-5 attacker, it also joined China’s development of K-8 basic trainer. In the 21st century, facing a new combat environment and the international market, China and Pakistan jointly developed the FC-1, an all-weather, single-engine, lightweight, multirole fourth generation fighter jet also known as the JF-17.

On May 18, 2021, Pakistani Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque and his delegation visited Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC). The ambassador visited the assembly line of ARJ21 (Advanced Regional Jet for 21st Century) and hoped the two sides could continue to deepen cooperation in the field of civil aviation and looked forward to the ARJ21 entering the Pakistani market at an early date.

On 27 December 2019, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) announced that it signed an agreement with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) for the “co-production of Chinese commercial aircraft.”

Developed by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, C919 is China’s first domestically-built large passenger aircraft. Like the obtaining of the certificate for commercial flight in early October, the delivery marked another milestone in China’s development of large airliners in line with internationally accepted airworthiness standards.

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