China on Friday announced the first delivery of its new domestically produced passenger jet, with the aircraft expected to make its commercial debut early next year.
Beijing hopes the C919 commercial jetliner will challenge foreign models like the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320.
The first model of the narrow-body jet, which seats 164 passengers, was formally handed over to China Eastern Airlines during a ceremony in Shanghai.
The aircraft completed its maiden flight from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport during the delivery process.
The state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (Comac) passed the airline a "commemorative key to the world's first C919," CCTV reported.
The aircraft comes with a two-class cabin layout, consisting of business class and economy class.
The delivery marked "an important milestone" in the journey of China's aircraft industry, CCTV said.
After delivery, the C919 will undergo more than 100 hours of test flights, with stops including Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.
Comac said at an airshow last month that it had secured orders for 300 C919s, but did not clarify whether the orders were fully confirmed and gave no details about the value of the deals or delivery dates. But if the orders go through, they would take the number of known deals for the C919 to over 1,100, based on figures from previous Comac statements. (Xinhua/AFP)