Comac plans to design C919 variant for high-altitude airports

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The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) plans to design an aircraft based on its Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) C919 jet for non-stop flights to high-altitude airports in Tibet.

Comac's deputy general manager Wu Guanghui says the aircraft will be able to operate non-stop to Tibet from cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, according to reports in China's state-owned media.

Passengers travelling to Tibet have to transfer to a different aircraft at a nearby airport, as conditions around the high-altitude airports require lighter aircraft flown for short flight times, say the reports.

The aircraft catered to the high-altitude airports will be lighter and will have more powerful engines than the C919, say the reports quoting Wu.

The C919 is expected to have its first flight in 2014, and enter service in 2016.