Chinese airline receives first domestic long-range jetliner

In this Monday, Nov. 2, 2015 file photo, the first twin-engine 158-seater C919 passenger plane made by The Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) is pulled out of the company’s hangar during a ceremony near the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China. China Eastern Airlines Ltd. on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022, became the first customer to take delivery of the long-range jetliner produced by a state-owned manufacturer set up to try to compete with Boeing and Airbus, state TV reported. (AP Photo, File)

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese airline on Friday became the first customer to take delivery of a long-range jetliner produced by a state-owned manufacturer set up to try to compete with Boeing and Airbus, state TV reported.

The Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China’s C919 is part of the ruling Communist Party effort’s to transform the country into a creator of profitable technologies and reduce reliance on foreign products.

The model delivered to China Eastern Airlines Ltd., one of China’s four major carriers, seats 164 passengers, China Central Television reported. It gave no details of where it would be operated.

The single-aisle C919, which is meant to compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, has a range of 4,075 to 5,555 kilometers (2,530 to 3,450 miles), according to the manufacturer. The plane made its first flight in May 2017.

Last month, COMAC announced 300 orders for the C919 from Chinese leasing companies. The company earlier said it had 815 orders for the C919 from 28 customers, including GE Capital Aviation Services and Thailand’s City Airways.

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