The Chinese aircraft manufacturer, officially known as Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, aims to showcase its indigenous jet through a flying display and exhibition at the Singapore Airshow from February 20 to 25. This move is part of Comac’s strategy to expand potential sales beyond China, taking advantage of Boeing’s challenges and Airbus’s production backlog.
COMAC C919 to Debut in Singapore
The timing of Comac’s presentation aligns favorably with China’s aspirations to establish itself as a global aircraft manufacturer.
Boeing is currently under intense scrutiny due to issues with its single-aisle 737 MAX jets, particularly following a plug-door blowout on a new MAX 9 jet operated by Alaska Airlines earlier in the month.
In response, US aviation regulators have instructed Boeing to suspend any further increases in production rates for its 737 MAX aircraft.
Due to Boeing’s quality concerns, sources have indicated that the American aircraft manufacturer does not have plans to showcase any of its commercial aircraft at the upcoming air show in Singapore.
Comac has previously ventured beyond mainland China by flying its two jet models, the C919 and the smaller ARJ21, to Hong Kong in December. It is noteworthy that the ARJ21 will also be featured at the Singapore Air Show.
Hong Kong Airlines (HX), with backing from HNA Group, has extensively explored the C919 in Hong Kong. The airline announced on Thursday that it is carefully monitoring the C919’s progress and evaluating its potential benefits for its fleet and operational suitability.
Although the C919 lacks certification from major regulators like the US Federal Aviation Administration and its European counterpart, restricting it from flying to most destinations outside of China, test planes without such permits can still conduct demonstration flights.
Traditionally, Boeing has showcased its flagship commercial jets at air shows, and in recent years, it started featuring its soon-to-be-produced 777-9 long-range wide-body jet at such events.
However, it’s worth noting that aircraft operated by the US Department of Defense under Boeing’s purview are still anticipated to participate in the Singapore Air Show.
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