From the Business Journals
China may be continuing to partner with the Boeing Co. and Airbus, but it has now rolled out its own homegrown competitor to the two companies’ duopoly on the passenger aircraft market.
The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (Comac), on Monday rolled out its C919 at a special ceremony in Shanghai, giving the world a look at the new single-aisle passenger jet built to compete with Boeing’s (NYSE: BA) 737 and Airbus A320.
Spirit AeroSystems Inc. (NYSE: SPR) in Wichita builds about 70 percent of every 737 for Boeing. It also builds wing components for the A320 at its plant in Prestwick, Scotland.
While a report from CNN indicates that not all of the C919 is built in China, the aircraft does represent a potential dent in market share for Boeing, Airbus and their suppliers.
The C919, long-delayed but now scheduled to fly for the first time next year, is said to have more than 500 order commitments, primarily from Chinese airlines and leasing companies.
China is seen as the world’s most lucrative emerging aviation market, where both Airbus and Boeing have either established, or announced plans to establish, a physical presence in order to try and win market share.
Boeing’s most recent forecast called for China to need more than 6,300 new aircraft — mostly single-aisles — over the next two decades.
China, which is hoping to use the C919 to bolster its aviation industry nationwide, has said it expects 2,000 sales of the homegrown aircraft over the next two decades.