Chinese C919 aircraft to begin deliveries in 2022 – official

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BEIJING, January 19 (Reuters)Deliveries of China’s C919 narrow-body jet, which has yet to be certified by the country’s aviation regulator, are expected to begin in 2022, local media said Wednesday quoting an official from the aircraft manufacturer. COMAC status.

Wu Yongliang, deputy general manager of COMAC, made the comments on the sidelines of an annual meeting of the political advisory body of the city of Shanghai, where COMAC is based, according to government-backed news outlet The Paper.

The C919 plane, China’s ambition to compete with Aibus SE AIR.PA and Boeing Co. TO FORBID, earlier missed a previously stated goal of achieving certification by the end of 2021, with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) saying the program had only conducted 34 certification tests on 276 planned.

Asked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the C919 program, Wu said the impact was manageable and relevant work was being done in an orderly fashion, according to The Paper.

Reuters in September reported that COMAC had had a harder time meeting certification and production goals for the C919 amid tough U.S. export rules, according to people familiar with the program.

Leeham News analyst Scott Hamilton said in a note Monday that he expects the jet to enter service in 2023 or 2024.

China Eastern Airlines 600115.SS is the launch customer for the C919 and has a firm order for the purchase of five of the narrow-body aircraft.

(Reporting by Stella Qiu, Ella Cao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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