China’s C919 narrow-body jet takes off on maiden flight

SHANGHAI, May 5 — China’s home-grown C919 passenger jet took to the skies in Shanghai for its long-delayed maiden test flight today, a major step for Beijing as it looks to boost its profile in the global aviation market.

The narrow-body aircraft, which will compete with Boeing’s 737 and the Airbus A320, is a key symbol of China’s ambitions to muscle into a global jet market estimated to be worth US$2 trillion (RM8.68 trillion) over the next 20 years.

Made by state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), the C919’s test flight had been delayed at least twice since 2014 due to production issues. — Reuters