China's new airliner will take on Airbus and Boeing: China Daily

Workers roll out the first C919 passenger jet plane.
Workers roll out the first C919 passenger jet plane. PHOTO: EPA

In its editorial on Nov 3, 2015, China Daily applauds the country's achievement in coming out with a new high-tech airliner

The first assembled C919 airliner made its debut in Shanghai on Monday (Nov 2), which is a significant milestone in the development of China's civil aviation industry.

The domestically designed and manufactured C919 will be able to carry up to 168 passengers and will have a maximum range of 5,500 km.

Although some time is still needed for the C919 to make its first test flight and enter commercial service, the successful assembly of the first complete aircraft is a considerable boost to the domestic aviation industry.

Its commercial use in China and the rest of the world is expected to break the decades-long duopoly of the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 in the world aviation market.

Despite its possession of self-developed advanced technologies in numerous areas, China's aviation market is dominated by foreign airplane manufacturers.

Of the 2,218 middle-and large-sized aircraft registered in 2014, almost all are Boeing and Airbus planes.

The C919's successful assembly means that a series of needed technological breakthroughs have been achieved and a solid foundation has been laid for it to conduct its maiden test fight.

Although its final delivery is some time away, the C919 has already received a total of 517 orders from 21 domestic and foreign clients, including German and Thai airlines, a sign of their increased confidence in China's aircraft manufacturing technology and power.

It is expected the C919 will gain more than 2,000 orders after it is cleared for use.

Since it was launched in 2008, the C919 project has been viewed as a sign of the country's comprehensive national strength and a key step toward building its status in the international aviation market.

The success in manufacturing the C919 will elevate Chinese people's confidence that made-in-China is not just a low-end brand, and that their country is gaining a greater presence in the world's high-end technology market.

* China Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, a grouping of 22 newspapers seeking to promote coverage of Asian affairs.