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Airbus and Boeing have a new competitor growing in China. The state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. recently unveiled its new twin-engine C919 jet, which is expected to take on the 737 and A320 aircraft. This narrow-body jet will hold about 168 passengers, a similar capacity to the other planes.
The C919 hasn’t taken flight just yet, but the Commercial Aircraft Corp. has reportedly received more than 500 orders from 21 customers. The plane was originally planned to enter service in 2016, but that’s been delayed to 2019 due to production setbacks.
Of course, the big question here is when Chinese airlines — of which there are many — will begin flying the C919 instead of (or in addition to) their existing fleets of similar jets from Airbus and Boeing. Cost and government incentives could provide some motivation, but customers within China (and especially those abroad) may be hesitant to fly on an unproven jet instead of an A320 or 737, both of which have millions of hours of safe flying under their belts.
Would you fly a Chinese-made airliner?
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