File photo/Cong Sen (NBD)
On May 28th, China Eastern Airlines, the initial customer for Chinese-made narrow-body jet C919, will launch the plane's first commercial flight, the carrier's app showed on Friday.
The flight will take off as flight number MU9191 from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and arrive in Beijing Capital Airport, and the flight will take 2 hours and 25 minutes. The 164-seat aircraft comes with a two-class cabin layout, consisting of 8 business and 156 economy seats.
Manufactured by Commercial Aviation Corp of China (COMAC), the C919 has made many flights without passengers. According to inquiries by National Business Daily, the C919 has had a flight duration of 171 hours in 107 flights and a range of nearly 140,000 kilometers, about 7.64 hours per day.
However, no ticket information for MU9191 is available on China Eastern Airlines' app and OTA platforms such as Ctrip. Industry insiders analyzed that guests and reporters may be invited to participate in the maiden flight.
On May 25th, Li Yangmin, Vice Chairman and General Manager of China Eastern Airlines, said at the performance briefing that they have great confidence in the C919. The company signed a purchase agreement for 5 C919s with COMAC in March 2021 in the first commercia deal for the plane. The first C919 aircraft was delivered to the airline at the end of 2022 and and began 100 hours of empty aircraft verification test flights.
According to China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai will be the main base for the commercial operation of the C919. And the Shanghai-headquartered carrier will receive the rest 4 C919s this year.