China Eastern Airlines to launch new C919 route from Shanghai to Guangzhou

China Eastern Airlines will commence flights from Shanghai to Guangzhou using the home-grown C919 aircraft on Friday. This marks the fourth commercial route for the C919, a narrow-body jet developed by COMAC to compete with Boeing and Airbus.

China Eastern Airlines announced that it will begin operating the domestically produced C919 aircraft on a new commercial route from Shanghai to Guangzhou starting this Friday. This addition marks the fourth regular commercial route for the C919, following its initial flights from Shanghai to Beijing, Chengdu, and Xi’an. The C919, developed by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), represents a significant milestone in China’s aerospace industry as it aims to compete with global giants like Boeing and Airbus.

The C919 is a narrow-body airliner designed for short- to medium-haul flights, with a seating capacity ranging from 158 to 168 passengers, depending on the configuration. It is the first large passenger aircraft developed independently by China, reflecting the country’s ambition to reduce its reliance on foreign-made aircraft and to establish a stronger presence in the global aviation market.

China Eastern Airlines has been a key partner in the C919 project, being the first airline to place an order for the aircraft and also the first to operate it commercially. The airline’s commitment to incorporating the C919 into its fleet highlights confidence in the aircraft’s performance and its potential to compete with other single-aisle aircraft like the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

The new Shanghai-Guangzhou route is significant not only for expanding the C919’s commercial presence but also for showcasing the aircraft’s capabilities in one of China’s busiest air corridors. Guangzhou, a major hub in southern China, represents a strategic market for China Eastern Airlines and the C919, offering high passenger traffic and the potential for a broader operational experience.

COMAC, the manufacturer of the C919, has worked on this project since 2008, with the aircraft making its maiden flight in 2017. The development of the C919 is a testament to China’s growing technological prowess and its determination to challenge the dominance of established aircraft manufacturers. The project has also received substantial government support as part of China’s broader strategy to boost its high-tech industries and reduce dependence on foreign technology.

The launch of the C919 on the Shanghai-Guangzhou route is expected to further validate the aircraft’s reliability and efficiency, paving the way for its entry into international markets.