Could Comac Sales Success Slow Airbus And Boeing Production Recovery?

Comac C919 narrow body airliner
Credit: Andy Wong/AFP/Getty Images

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Could sales successes by China’s Comac slow a production recovery at Boeing and Airbus?

Aviation Week Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief Bradley Perrett answers:

The C919 is unlikely to appear at all in the airline fleets of developed economies in the next few years, let alone in numbers that could bother Airbus and Boeing. Comac has been aiming the C919 initially at the Chinese domestic market because it knows it must establish a reputation for delivering quality products and supporting them before going abroad.

Comac has indeed begun the process of building a reputation, with its ARJ21 regional jet already in service—only domestically, for the same reason. But the state company will not have that reputation until long after the end of the current slump in demand for commercial aircraft. And the C919 itself will need to be known as a reliable and efficient aircraft before airlines outside of China will pay much attention to it. (I am ignoring foreign customers, probably in developing countries, that could be offered subsidized C919s as an exercise in China’s foreign policy.)

Comac could be a problem for Airbus and Boeing much later, as we discussed in a reply to an earlier Ask the Editors question.

Bradley Perrett

Bradley Perrett covered China, Japan, South Korea and Australia. He is a Mandarin-speaking Australian.


1 Comment
You do not include the fact that the C919 is not certified and its path to do so is non existent at this point and likely never .