The C919, China's first home-built large passenger plane, gained another 500 orders on Monday from China Huarong Financial Leasing Co Ltd, the subsidiary of China's largest financial asset management firm, lifting its total orders to 815.
Commercial Aircraft Corp of China Ltd, the manufacturer of the C919, signed an agreement with Huarong Leasing in Beijing. So far, the C919 has netted orders from 28 Chinese and overseas customers.
Meanwhile, Huarong Leasing reached a deal with COMAC to purchase 20 ARJ21, China's first homemade regional jetliner. The ARJ21 model has been put in commercial use for more than two years, and it has received 453 orders so far.
Lai Xiaomin, president of China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd, the parent of Huarong Leasing, said: "The development of the civil aircraft industry is a major strategic choice of China. Huarong aims to further strengthen its efforts to provide services to the real economy and high-end equipment manufacturing. This will be a significant move to boost the building of a powerful country.
"Besides, we have been sticking to our goal of partnering with big customers. By establishing comprehensive business partnerships with COMAC, we will make mutual benefits and important achievements," he said.
Founded in 1999, main-land-based Huarong went public in Hong Kong in 2015. In the first half of 2017, it achieved net profit of 16.4 billion yuan ($2.6 billion), according to the company.
COMAC earlier said it would send six C919 aircraft on test flights, and complete more than 1,000 compliance tests. So far, two test aircraft have conducted their test flights.
In the next couple of years, the manufacturer said it would cooperate with the Aviation Industry Corp of China, and carry out intensive series of test flights at the testing bases in Yanliang, Shaanxi province, and Dongying, Shandong province.
"The orders have helped the C919 to break the duopoly of Boeing and Airbus. Next, the plane needs to make sure of its survival first, and then continue to improve its services and product performances," said Wang Yanan, editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine.
"The C919 will help the Chinese aviation industry to involve in the world's supply chain system of large aircraft, and China will be able to acquire valuable experiences. The Chinese aviation industry could transform from a manufacturing giant to an innovation power," he said.