China Southern Airlines has ordered 100 domestically produced C919 aircraft, and COMAC’s production of the four major airlines is expected to double this year

COMAC’s production of C919 aircraft is expected to at least double this year.

Southern Airlines (600029. SH) has just announced that it has signed an agreement with COMAC to purchase 100 C919 aircraft from COMAC.

China Southern Airlines stated that the above 100 aircraft are planned to be delivered in batches from 2024 to 2031. According to the latest catalog prices provided by COMAC, the total basic price for 100 C919 aircraft is approximately 9.9 billion US dollars. After fair negotiations between the buyer and seller, COMAC has offered the company a significant price discount for the purchase of the aircraft. Therefore, the actual consideration for this transaction is lower than the basic price of the aforementioned aircraft.

Three major airlines have ordered over 300 aircraft

The C919 large passenger aircraft is a large jet civilian aircraft developed by China in accordance with international civil aviation regulations and with independent intellectual property rights. It has a seating capacity of 158-168 seats and a range of 4075-5555 kilometers.

In 2022, China Eastern Airlines, as the world’s first user of domestically produced C919 large passenger planes, officially received the world’s first delivery aircraft of C919 on December 9, and launched the first commercial flight of C919, “Shanghai Hongqiao – Beijing Capital”, on May 28, 2023.

At present, China Eastern Airlines has gradually received 5 C919 aircraft and has taken the lead in signing an agreement with COMAC to add 100 C919 aircraft. This year, it plans to increase the number of C919 aircraft to 10.

Just a few days ago, Air China also announced that it had ordered 100 C919 aircraft from COMAC. The latest announcement from China Southern Airlines means that the three major airlines have ordered more than 300 C919 aircraft.

It is worth noting that the catalog price of this order from China Southern Airlines is the same as that of China Eastern Airlines, which means it is of the same type as the C919 aircraft ordered by China Eastern Airlines, while the catalog price of Air China is slightly higher, ordering an extended range C919 aircraft.

Outbreak of C919 Aircraft Orders

In addition to the three major state-owned airlines, Hainan Airlines Group has also signed an order for 60 C919 aircraft with COMAC, of which 30 will be taken over by Jinpeng Airlines, a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines Group, and the other 30 are planned to be taken over by Urumqi Airlines, a subsidiary of Hainan Airlines Group.

In September 2023, COMAC also received a large order of 30 aircraft from Brunei Qiji Airlines overseas, including 5 C919 aircraft.

In addition, Xizang Airlines, which has the most experience in plateau operations, also signed an order with COMAC for 50 domestic large aircraft plateau aircraft, including 40 C919 plateau aircraft and 10 ARJ-21 plateau aircraft.

As early as September 2023, He Dongfeng, Chairman of COMAC, revealed that the order quantity for the C919 had reached 1061, and the subsequent development of the aircraft will include shortened to extended versions, covering seat classes from 130 to 240 seats.

When the C919 production capacity ramp is in progress

The continuous ordering of the C919 also means that the narrow body aircraft market, which is currently dominated by Boeing and Airbus, has welcomed a third competitor.

In the “COMAC Market Forecast Annual Report (2022-2041)” released by COMAC, it was revealed how large the aircraft market will be in the next twenty years.

The market report predicts that the Chinese aviation market will receive 9284 jet airliners in the next 20 years, including 958 regional airliners, 6288 single channel airliners, and 2038 dual channel airliners. By 2041, China’s fleet size will reach 10007 aircraft, accounting for 21.1% of the global passenger aircraft fleet. The Chinese aviation market will become the world’s largest single aviation market.

However, compared to the current delivery speed of Boeing and Airbus, the production and delivery pace of the C919 still lags far behind.

According to reporters, COMAC only delivered 4 C919 aircraft to China Eastern Airlines throughout 2023, and another one was delivered in March of this year.

This year, China Eastern Airlines plans to receive a total of 5 C919 aircraft. According to reporters, Air China and China Southern Airlines also plan to receive one C919 aircraft this year. Hainan Airlines’ subsidiary, Jinpeng Airlines, will receive its first C919 aircraft in the fourth quarter of this year and plans to adjust its fleet to a unified C919 fleet.

This means that COMAC’s production of C919 aircraft will at least double this year.

From the production progress of Boeing and Airbus,

Regarding this, sources from COMAC have revealed to reporters that the delivery rhythm of any newly developed aircraft is from small batch delivery to large batch delivery, and the increase in production will also be a slow process. Therefore, the delivery volume of C919 aircraft will not be too much in the first year and will increase year by year.

And the Vice President of COMAC