China Eastern unveils new airline OTT to fly COMAC’s C919

While Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) continues to undergo flight testing on its C919 narrow-body jet, China Eastern Airlines Corp (China Eastern) has launched a subsidiary carrier, OTT, to fly the China-made jet further afield than the domestic market, alongside COMAC’s regional jet, the ARJ21.

China Eastern had already been earmarked as the launch customer, though the jet is currently five years behind schedule. The C919 was designed to directly challenge the Airbus A320 Family and Boeing 737 MAX jets. On the same day last August as Air China and China Southern Airlines placed orders, China Eastern placed an order for 35 of the C919s. Current order numbers stand at over 800, though these are predominantly from China-registered carriers and leasing companies, though GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has placed an order for ten of the jets, with an option for an additional ten.

While the C919 continues to struggle with a multitude of technical issues that have severely restricted test flights, COMAC is also looking for certification from EASA to enable it to fly to European destinations.

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