China Eastern Airlines bolsters fleet with second C919 from COMAC.

Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) has made its second delivery of the C919 model to its inaugural customer, China Eastern Airlines, a move in line with the airline's plans to expand its operations with the new aircraft.

The handover ceremony for the C919, registered as B-919C, was conducted at COMAC's Shanghai facility on 14th July. The first of five C919s was delivered to China Eastern Airlines in December 2022 and commenced commercial service in May of the following year.

According to COMAC, this second C919, previously test aircraft B-001K, was assembled in February and successfully completed its flight tests by June.

The airline has designs to utilize the new acquisition for flights from Shanghai to Chengdu, a route already in operation with the first C919. Additional routes are anticipated to be announced in due course, as per local media reports.

This latest delivery occurred in the wake of fellow Chinese carrier, Suparna Airlines, confirming its lease for 30 C919s. On 13th July, Suparna, a Shanghai-based subsidiary of Hainan Airlines Group, inked a cooperation framework agreement with COMAC and lessor SPDB Financial Leasing.

The commitments for 60 C919s by Hainan Airlines Group carriers, Suparna and Urumqi Air, unveiled in April, were part of a larger order for 100 aircraft that also incorporated 40 ARJ21 regional jets. This order offered a significant boost to the C919 program, which had experienced delays in production and certification.

The C919 program is considered a key domestic initiative by China, positioning the aircraft as a homegrown competitor to the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families.