China certified on Thursday a homegrown aircraft intended to eventually rival Boeing Co. and Airbus SE single-aisle jets, photos on social media showed.
In a ceremony on Thursday, the C919, made by Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd., or Comac, was issued with a type certification by China’s aviation agency body, the photos show. A representative for the Civil Aviation Administration of China didn’t immediately respond to a request for confirmation.
The certification, which shows the jet model meets requirements, paves the wave to start deliveries of the aircraft to customers. The event was attended by Liu He, China’s vice-premier and top economy adviser to President Xi Jinping, according to the photos.
China is trying to disrupt the dominance of Boeing and Airbus in commercial jetliner manufacturing. However, it’s not clear when, if ever, the C919 will be a competitive threat to the duopoly. Comac hasn’t attracted much interest for its products overseas, and the nation’s airlines still favor Airbus and Boeing as the workhorses of their fleets.
It’s been 14 years since Comac started developing the C919, using foreign suppliers including General Electric Co., Honeywell International Inc. and, for the engines, CFM International Inc. -- a venture between GE and France’s Safran SA. The project has been marred by delays and missed deadlines. China Eastern Airlines Corp. is the launch customer with an order for five of the narrowbody aircraft, which completed a first pre-delivery test flight in May.