The Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (Comac) has announced a launch order of up to 100 aircraft for its C919 narrowbody.

Chinese carriers Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Chinese lessor CDB Leasing Company (CLC) and GECAS are the launch customers, says Comac at Airshow China 2010 in Zhuhai.

Half of the 100 orders are firm while the remaining are options, says Comac general manager Jin Zhuanglong.

Air China, China Southern and China Eastern have ordered up to 20 C919s each, he adds. He did not give a detailed breakdown for the remaining orders.

GECAS says it has ordered up to 10 aircraft, half of which are firm orders.

"Today is a very important milestone for us. The order shows that our product has been accepted by the market," says Jin.

The C919 is scheduled to have its first flight in 2014, with entry into service in 2016. The joint definition phase is ongoing, and is scheduled to wrap up early next year following a design review at the end of this year.

Comac says it aims to complete its detailed design work in 2012, before first flight in 2014.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news