Air China Orders 100 COMAC Aircraft

Daniel Fowkes
29 Apr 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
A Comac C919 departs Shanghai Pudong International Airport on its first flight registered as B-001C

Air China has announced it’ll purchase up to 100 COMAC C919 jets as part of a new filing by the significant Chinese-based airline.

In another sign of support for Chinese manufacturer, these aircraft are expected to be delivered between 2024 and 2031.

The deal is worth about USD 10.8 billion at the list price. However, given the close relationship between the pair and their similar geographical positioning, how much was paid is unclear.

At least regarding the transaction, Air China says it will pay for the aircraft, even with the discount, through commercial bank loans, capital that it has acquired, and several other financing methods.

Air China hopes that this purchase will optimise its fleet structure and ensure its long-term security. The COMAC jets will boost fleet capacity considerably and allow for the general streamlining of its short—to medium-haul network.

COMAC and Air China aren’t strangers by any means, thanks to sharing key company ownership similarities. Air China already flies the COMAC ARJ21, known for its regional capabilities.

As a result, this purchase of the C919 can easily be seen as another important step in the pair’s relationship.

COMAC has enjoyed orders from Chinese airlines such as Air China and China Eastern. However, it has been away from the Chinese market, which it has struggled to break into significantly.

The manufacturer hopes to build an aircraft that will compete with the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX series. However, despite its capabilities, the COMAC aircraft has received pushback from analysts and onlookers.

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