Airbus and Boeing duopoly threatened by release of Chinese passenger jet

Airbus and Boeing duopoly threatened by release of Chinese passenger jet, imge: China state media

Airbus and Boeing’s duopoly is now threatened by the release of China’s C919 narrowbody passenger jet.

After more than ten years in development and tens of billions of dollars of state support, China’s first passenger jet is nearing Beijing’s approval to start commercial flights. China’s first C919 narrowbody jet to be delivered to launch customer China Eastern Airlines is about to enter the final assembly stage, China’s aviation regulator announced, with delivery due before the end of the year.

The C919, being built by state-owned planemaker Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), will mark a milestone in a decade-long programme to rival aircraft made by the duopoly of Airbus and Boeing. The C919 programme’s certification board met in Shanghai on Sept. 10 and reviewed COMAC reports on batch production of the jet, the Eastern Region Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on its social media account.

COMAC hopes to obtain a type certificate, which certifies the model as airworthy, by the end of the year.

The board also approved proposals to adjust the current plans for obtaining the aircraft’s production certificate, which is required for mass production, the regulator said, without going into further detail.
The C919 is currently in the more limited batch production phase.

The fifth prototype of China’s home-built C919 passenger plane took off for its first test flight from Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China October 24, 2019.

Despite repeated delays to the programme, which could yet slip again, there are signs Beijing’s investment is starting to pay off. Guillaume Faury, Airbus chief executive, recently acknowledged Comac’s rise, telling an industry event “we will probably go from a duopoly to a triopoly, at least on the single-aisle models, by the end of the decade”.

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European planemaker Airbus in talks with Wizz Air over a large order for passenger jets.

Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air is in negotiations with European planemaker Airbus over the purchase of at least 100 more narrowbody jets, revealed industry sources.

Secret talks apparently began several months ago and surfaced as Wizz Air emerged as a suitor for rival easyJet and as Europe’s largest budget carrier, Ryanair, remained deadlocked with Boeing over a major jet purchase (see below for latest update).

Analysts say all three major European budget airlines are forecast to expand as the COVID-19 crisis further erodes the finances of national legacy carriers.

Talks between Wizz Air and Airbus continued over the summer but, as yet, the two sides are not yet ready to announce a deal- Fleet purchase talks typically take months and with this many aircraft, billions of euros are involved.

Wizz Air, which has already ordered a total of 388 Airbus jets, has so far declined to officially comment on the order.


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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.