Comac is looking at expanding production capacity for its C919 narrowbody programme, according to a state-owned contractor, as its order backlog continues to grow. 

In a now-deleted social media post widely reported by local media, China Aviation Planning and Design Institute Group (CAPDI) said it had clinched the contract for the “second phase” of the C919 “production capacity construction project”. 

COMAC Shanghai c Jonathan Browning_Shutterstock re

Source: Shutterstock

Comac appears to be seeking to expand existing C919 production facility in Shanghai 

The project is located in the Pudong area of Shanghai, where Comac is also based. According to reports, the expanded facility spans 330,000sq m (3.55 million sq ft), with an unspecified number of production lines and parts warehouses.  

Shanghai-headquartered CAPDI is linked to state-owned enterprise AVIC, and provides survey and design services, as well as research and development activities. 

Neither Comac nor AVIC have publicly commented on the latest development, which follows two large orders placed by Chinese operators Air China and China Southern Airlines. 

The two carriers announced commitments for 100 C919s each, days apart, in late April, adding to Comac’s already large backlog. 

This is on top of orders from launch customer China Eastern, as well as Hainan Airline units Urumqi Air and Suparna Airlines, and Tibet Airlines, which will be launch customer for the high-altitude variant of the C919. 

Cirium fleets data records Comac as holding almost 1,000 firm orders for the C919, with another 700 aircraft covered by more tentative agreements.

Deliveries of the C919 have been glacial since it was certificated by Chinese authorities in late 2022. China Eastern is the only operator of the type, and has four examples in service, according to its fleet data issued in mid-April.