>> A milestone for China as it attempts to enter the global aviation market. The C919 passenger jet taking it's maiden flight Friday, and it's been a long time coming. State-run plane maker COMAC had to delay the rollout twice since 2014 because of production problems. Assigned to the huge task Beijing faces building a jet it hopes can challenge the US and European giants.
Reuters Adam Jourdan, explains why commercial use is likely a long way off.>> Boeing and Airbus have both been around for much longer than COMAC, they have decades of experience of flying time of their planes, the 737, the Airbus 8320, these are established jets. Now the COMAC C919 is still a long way behind and it will face years of having to lobby for certification in China and outside China.
As well as gaining that experience in terms of sales, in terms of supply chain, that its big European and American rivals already have under their belt.>> The C919 isn't COMAC's first jet, but it's the first designed to be sold abroad, and while it may take time to impress some international buyers, its already got a captive market at home.
>> Here in China the C919 is likely to be able to do relatively well with local airlines, China Southern, China Eastern, Air China. And with the backing of Beijing that will mean it should do, in a shorter time, relatively well here in the China market, one of the fastest growing areas for aviation around the world.
>> Without certification, by Western regulators, China would only be able to sell the C919 to a few countries that accept its own standards. But Beijing's already got it's eye on the horizon with plans to create a larger, long-haul jet with Russia.