China’s 737 challenger ‘too new’ for Europe to approve by 2026

China desires to take a chew out of the business passenger aviation market with the C919, its homegrown passenger jet from the state-owned Industrial Plane Company of China (COMAC). State media intently follows every step of the narrow-body aircraft’s growth. The C919 made its world debut on the Singapore Air Present—proper as U.S. planemaker Boeing, scrambling to deal with the fallout from a defective door plug on Alaska Airways Flight 1282, pulled its business planes.

However COMAC could also be getting a actuality examine on hopes to shortly break into the market and make the most of Boeing’s security troubles.

In an interview with Reuters, the European Union Aviation Security Company’s (EASA) high official mentioned the aircraft is “too new for us to know the way simple or troublesome will probably be” to certify shortly. (The EASA is the EU’s air security regulator.)

COMAC initially bid for European approval of the C919 in 2019, just for plans to be placed on maintain because of the COVID pandemic, Luc Tytgat, performing government director of EASA, defined. COMAC then restarted its bid for European approval of the C919 final November, and requested for the work to be accomplished by 2026.

“It will likely be a giant work to reconnect and go for a familiarization with what the aircraft appears like in the present day,” he defined.

The C919 acquired the kind certificates—the de facto normal for world aviation security—from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in September 2022 and an approval for manufacturing in November the identical yr.

China Japanese Airways has operated the C919 in China since Might 2023 and COMAC additionally took the aircraft on a promotional tour by means of 5 Southeast Asian international locations this yr.

Airways are at present dealing with a scarcity of planes, compounded by Boeing’s current questions of safety. Planemakers are nonetheless grappling with provide chain points brought on by the COVID pandemic. Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation director-general Willie Walsh mentioned in February that manufacturing will stay snarled for “a couple of extra years.”

Better regulatory scrutiny on Boeing’s manufacturing course of following the mid-air blowout of a door plug on a Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft in January may even imply fewer Boeing planes available on the market. United Airways, Southwest Airways, Emirates and Ryanair are among the many carriers warning of supply delays.

The C919 must be licensed by U.S. and European aviation regulators earlier than it may possibly function commercially in Western markets. It’d take some time, regardless of China having bilateral aviation security agreements with each Europe and the U.S. The COMAC-made ARJ21, a regional jet, has been in business use since 2016, however has but to obtain certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. (The ARJ21 solely has one non-Chinese language buyer, the Indonesian airline TransNusa)

For now, neither Boeing nor Airbus—the present duopoly controlling the market—see the C919 as a risk within the short-term. Executives from each planemakers informed CNBC in February that they see COMAC’s providing as just like what’s already available on the market.

European carriers, for his or her half, don’t seem like determined for a brand new aircraft. No European airline has requested the EASA to hurry up approval of the C919 to allow them to place orders, Tytgat revealed to Reuters.

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