China Eastern Airlines signed a contract with Comac on March 1 to purchase five of the latter's C919 large passenger aircrafts, becoming the first buyer of the Chinese manufacturer of large passenger aircraft.
The C919 is a large jet civil aircraft developed by China in accordance with international civil aviation regulations and with its own intellectual property rights, and it made its first flight in Shanghai in May 2017.
China Eastern Airlines is introducing the first batch of five C919s and expects to deliver the first one this year to be put into service from Shanghai to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and other routes.
The aircraft purchase contract is an important step for China Eastern Airlines after the formation of OTT Airlines to operate the China-made ARJ21.
During the development of the C919, its first crew and first companion flight missions were provided by China Eastern Airlines.
China Eastern Airlines will work with Comac to prepare for the operation, including additional operational qualification of the new aircraft, training of professional staff, and negotiation and signing.
China Eastern Airlines carries more than 130 million passengers per year, placing it in the top 10 in the world.
(Source: China Eastern Airlines)