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How the Global Airline Industry is Changing – Flight Training

C919There is competition stirring in the airline and aviation industry. Pilots from all over are starting to recognize the tension. Global competitors, like China, are starting to design and develop their own airlines in an attempt to compete with U.S. Airlines. This will be quite a feat to accomplish since commercial aircraft are the single largest category of exports from the U.S.


Comac, or the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China ltd., was recently established in May of 2008 in Shanghai, China. Aspiring to be the next leader in the airline industry, the government-owned corporation is attempting to design and build large passenger aircraft with passenger capacity of up to 190 people.

Comac’s motivation of creating their own homegrown aircraft is to reduce the country’s dependence on Airbus and Boeing, the unparalleled leaders in the airline industry. The jumbo jet Comac is currently developing is called the C919. 

The C919

The C919 is estimated to be the largest airliner designed and built in China since the Shanghai Y-10, which undoubtedly failed, the design was outdated and the viability of the prototype was in question. The project was cancelled in 1983.

The C919 began by using foreign-made jet engines and avionics, however Comac is set on manufacturing their own domestic aircraft components. The C919 is supposedly very similar to the Airbus A320. The first flight is scheduled for 2014 and deliveries are scheduled for 2016.

Comac plans on using the C919 to directly compete with Airbus and Boeing, who’s market share is unparalleled. Boeing’s revenues just in 2009 were $69 billion. The barriers of entry for this market are also extremely competitive.

Specs Comparison

Comac is modeling their C919 as closely as they can to their competition, the A320 and the B737. Here are some comparative specs between the three airliners.

  Comac’s C919  Airbus’s A320  Boeing’s B737
 Wingspan  110 feet, 3 inches  111 feet 11 inches  117 feet 5 inches
 Range  2,200 NM to 3,000 NM  3,600 NM  3,060 NM
 Capacity  168 – 190 seats 107 – 220 seats  123 – 215 seats
 Cruise Speed  514 mph 511 mph 514 mph

To be a commercial pilot, attend a flight training school that will equip you with the knowledge and skills demanded by these powerful aircraft.

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