SINGAPORE: Boeing said on Wednesday (Feb 21) it was preparing to compete with China’s first domestically produced passenger plane, which was showcased for the first time to international buyers at Asia’s biggest airshow.

The single-aisle C919 aircraft made its international debut this week at the Singapore Airshow, featuring in both flying and on-the-ground displays in a bid to woo international buyers.

The state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), is seeking to position the C919 as a potential competitor to the market-leading A320, made by Europe’s Airbus, and the 737 MAX from US-based Boeing.

Dave Schulte, Boeing’s commercial marketing managing director for the Asia-Pacific, said the C919 is similar to what Boeing and Airbus produce in the narrow-body segment and it could be something that airlines in the region may consider.

“It is an airplane that will continue to compete, that … we will start to compete against,” he told reporters at the airshow.

But “it will be up to each of the manufacturers to prove the value to the airlines, prove the products, the strength of the product”, he said.

“I think they (COMAC) will also have some of the growing challenges … that they will have to overcome in order to continue to compete in the market across the region.”

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