As the year draws to an end, demand for the C919, China’s first domestically built passenger aircraft is growing. According to reports, Air China is now the second customer for the C919, following China Eastern Airlines, and this new order came with a higher price tag.
The confidence of the domestic aviation industry has been greatly enhanced by the rising number of new orders, price increases, and accelerated deliveries of the C919 model.
Chinese media reports that COMAC raised the list price of the C919, which was previously priced at US$99 million but is now US$108 million. As part of the agreement, the company will deliver its first commercial C919 flight from Shanghai to Beijing today. Additionally, an order for eleven ARJ21 aircraft is included.
Air China is expected to receive six C919s and eleven ARJ21s between 2024 and 2025. Amid these changes, Zhou Xinmin, general manager of COMAC, has openly promoted more government assistance to boost the business’s ability to compete with well-known manufacturers like Boeing.
In the meantime, Boeing is once more actively participating in the Chinese market. It has completed the delivery of the Dreamliner to Juneyao Airlines and recently resumed deliveries of its 737 Max series in China.
The revised pricing aligns the cost of the aircraft more closely with Airbus’s A320neo, its direct competitor. The report suggests that Airbus typically prices its commercial jets in the range of US$105 million to US$136 million. Interestingly, the C919’s performance is comparable to that of the Boeing 737 MAX, which is priced at $121.6 million for the MAX 8 model.
Products typically debut at higher prices due to factors such as supply chain considerations, vendor contracts, and the costs associated with research and development. As production scales up and customer commitments solidify, however, these initial high prices often experience a decline. This downward trend is influenced by economies of scale and the establishment of a more stable market presence.