China’s first homegrown passenger jet makes maiden commercial flight

BEIJING    -    China’s first domestically produced passenger jet made its maiden commercial flight on Sunday, a milestone event in the nation’s decades-long effort to compete with Western rivals in the air. Beijing hopes the C919 com­mercial jetliner will challenge foreign models like the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320, though many of its parts are sourced from abroad. Its first homegrown jetliner with mass commercial potential would also cut the country’s reliance on foreign technology as ties with the West deteriorate. “In the future, most passengers will be able to choose to trav­el by large, domestically pro­duced aircraft,” state broad­caster CCTV said. China Eastern Airlines flight MU9191 from Shanghai “arrived smoothly” in Beijing just after 12:30 pm, around 40 minutes ahead of schedule, according to CCTV. Footage showed passengers filing out of the plane and into the terminal, before a few doz­en staff and officials posed for photographs in a brief ceremo­ny on the tarmac.

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