Key Points:

  • Comac has revealed two new variants of its C919 narrowbody aircraft - a stretched version for larger passenger capacity and a shortened version for high-altitude performance.

  • The C919 Stretched Variant can accommodate 210 passengers, while the Shortened/Plateau Variant is designed for 140 passengers and optimized for high-altitude airports in China.

  • In addition to the C919 developments, Comac's ARJ21 regional jet has surpassed 10 million passengers, primarily servicing routes within China and Indonesia.

Comac's Strategic Expansion of C919 Aircraft Line

BEIJING — Comac, China's prominent aircraft manufacturer, has announced the development of two new variants of its C919 narrowbody aircraft, tailored to suit diverse operational needs within and around China. These variants, dubbed the C919 Stretched Variant and the C919 Shortened/Plateau Variant, were showcased at the Shanghai International Commercial Aviation & Aerospace Industry Exhibition. By offering different sizes of its standard narrowbody model, Comac aims to emulate the family concept seen in Airbus' A320 series and Boeing's 737 MAX models.

The original C919 model, which was first delivered to China Eastern Airlines, has a seating capacity of 164 across its business and economy cabins. In contrast, the newly proposed C919 Stretched Variant is designed to carry 210 passengers in a two-class configuration, aligning with the trend towards larger single-aisle aircraft in the market.

Enhanced Variants for Specialized Requirements

The C919 Shortened/Plateau Variant is specifically engineered for operations at China's high-altitude airports, with optimized takeoff and landing performance. This model can accommodate 140 passengers and shows promise for further development into additional derivatives. While these new concepts are still in the preliminary stages, with detailed technical information yet to be disclosed, their introduction signifies Comac's commitment to diversifying its aircraft offerings to meet specific market requirements.

In related news, Comac's regional jet, the ARJ21, has reached a significant milestone by transporting over 10 million passengers. This achievement was marked by a China Southern Airlines ARJ21 flight on the Guangzhou-Jieyang route. Currently, the ARJ21 is estimated to operate around 1,800 weekly flights across China and Indonesia, underscoring its growing presence in regional aviation. Comac's expansion of the C919 family and the success of the ARJ21 illustrate the company's increasing influence in the global aviation market, particularly in meeting the unique demands of the Chinese and broader Asian markets.