China Eastern Begins C919 Test Flights

C919 launch customer China Eastern Airlines (MU) is completing a series of operational test flights before its entry into service in Spring 2023.



December 28, 2022

DALLAS - China Eastern Airlines (MU) has carried out the first of a series of test flights on its brand-new C919 aircraft to pave the way for the type's entry into service in the spring of 2023.

The maiden test flight departed Shanghai Hongqiao Airport (SHA) bound for Beijing Capital International (PEK) on Monday, December 26, under flight number MU7801. Seven other domestic airports across China will see the test flights operated until the number of flight hours totals 100. This is expected to be completed by the end of February 2023.

MU received its first C919 earlier this month. Photo: China Eastern Airlines.

Full Flight Simulation

Each flight simulates the whole operational process, from maintenance, servicing, loading, dispatch and passenger board, although no passengers will be carried.

MU has selected nine Pilots, 24 Flight Attendants and 13 engineers to complete their training for the C919 and operate these sorties.

Speaking of the new aircraft, MU said, "China Eastern Airlines strives to officially put the C919 into commercial passenger operation in the spring of 2023. At that time, C919 will appear on high-quality boutique routes in Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Kunming, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen and other places."

Photo: China Eastern Airlines.

C919 Delivery

The first C919 (B-919A) was delivered to MU, the launch customer, on December 9, 2022. The airline had ordered five airframes back in November 2010 with options for a further 15.

The aircraft, built by The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), has so far amassed over 1,000 commitments. The type is being billed as an airliner to break the duopoly in the single-aisle market currently held by the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

Featured Image: Each test flight runs through the entire operational process. Photo: China Eastern Airlines.