BEIJING, China: China will put into commercial operation its first large passenger airliner, in a bid to challenge western plane manufacturers.
China's C919 narrow body airliner will begin flying passengers for China Eastern Airlines.
The C919 will operate for the first time this week between Shanghai and Beijing.
On the same day it will operate a return flight to Shanghai.
The flight of the C919 will challenge the monopoly shared by Boeing and Airbus in the commercial airlines industry.
The C919 is manufactured by Commercial Aviation Corp of China, and is meant to compete with the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX.
Chinese officials have noted that the C919 has flown many test flights without passengers.
Meanwhile, China Eastern has ordered five C919s.
With headquarters in Shanghai, China Eastern airlines has been test flying the C919 since December. It has flown some 100 hours during that period, said officials.
The C919 includes 164 seats, divided into business and economy classes.
While the C919 is assembled in China, it requires western parts, including engines.