Chapman Freeborn blog

Chapman Freeborn

Can Comac’s C919 challenge the supremacy of Boeing and Airbus?

There’s a report in the FT today about the challenge from Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) to Boeing and Airbus’s supremacy in the single and twin-aisle passenger aircraft market.

The FT notes the surprising lack of interest in Comac at last month’s Farnborough Air Show – even though the Chinese state-owned manufacturer is probably the most likely candidate to break the current duopoly.

Comac’s C919 aircraft is set to be the largest commercial airliner designed and built in China since the redundant Shanghai Y-10 – a four engined jet developed in the 1970s.

With 156-168 seats it will be a direct competitor to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 (the basic version is designed to cover a range of 4,075 km, while the enhanced version can stretch to 5,555 km).

Airbus’s A320neo, Boeing’s 737 Max and Bombardier’s CSeries will also take to the skies in the next few years, but the rapid expansion of the Chinese aviation market should ensure there is no shortage of potential customers for the C919.

In fact, Comac has already announced over 250 orders from airlines including Air China, Hainan Airlines, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, as well as a number of major aircraft leasing companies.

Boeing’s own 20 year forecast predicts that nearly half of the world’s air traffic growth will be driven by travel to, from, or within the Asia Pacific region by 2031 (see our recent blog post) – so it’s not hard to see Comac becoming a major player in the future.

You can read up more on the C919 program on Comac’s website here

The FT article is worth a read if you can access it online or pick up a printed copy. View the online post here