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China has entered the business of making airplanes. The first Chinese-made commercial aircraft took off from Shanghai on Sunday and landed at Beijing Airport. The narrow-bodied C919 plane had 128 passengers on board. The company that made the plane is the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. This is shortened to "COMAC". China's President Xi Jinping hailed the C919 aircraft as a "triumph of Chinese innovation". Newspapers in China called the C919 "a symbol of industrial prowess and national pride". A passenger on the flight was impressed with the plane. He said: "The flight was extremely smooth, comfortable and memorable. I'll remember this fondly for some time to come."
COMAC hopes to be a major player in the commercial airplane market. It hopes to compete with industry giants such as Boeing and Airbus. COMAC started developing the C919 in 2008. Production began in late 2011. In September 2022, it passed the standards to fly commercially in China. COMAC's first customer was China Eastern Airlines, which bought five of the aircraft. COMAC plans to build 150 planes each year for the next five years. A spokesperson said there were orders for more than 1,000 C919s from different Chinese airlines. He hopes airlines from other countries will soon start making orders. He added that the plane was an "important milestone" for China's aircraft industry.
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