Comac has kicked off the first day of Airshow China by announcing commitments for 50 of its C919 narrowbody aircraft.

The commitments come from Chinese carriers Joy Air, Hebei Aviation Group and lessor GECAS.

GECAS has signed a letter of intent for an additional 10 C919s, bringing its total commitment for the type to 20. It first inked an LOI with Comac in 2010 for five firm purchases and options for an additional five aircraft.

Hebei Aviation meanwhile signed for 20 of the twinjets. The Chinese carrier also has 10 ARJ21-700s on order.

Joy Air, a joint venture between China Eastern Airlines and Aviation Industry Corporation of China, committed to 20 aircraft.

These new commitments bring Comac's order backlog for the C919 to 380 aircraft.

The indigenous Chinese aircraft programme is scheduled to have its first flight in 2014, with deliveries due to begin in 2016.

The aircraft, which has largely gained orders from Chinese airlines and leasing companies, is now in the detailed design phase.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news