First made-in-China passenger jet leaves production line

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The first passenger jet made by a Chinese company rolled off an assembly line in Shanghai on Monday following 7 years in development and delays, according to reports.

The C919, developed by the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC), will have 158 seats and a range of 4,075 kilometres.

The jet will make its maiden flight next year and then undergo test flights for another three years before it will be ready for commercial use, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The C919 has already received 517 orders from 21 customers, Xinhua cited COMAC as saying.

Xinhua reported in June that state-run Ping An Leasing, a subsidiary of Ping An Insurance, signed a deal to purchase 50 C919 from COMAC.

The plane suffered several delays, including the initial deadline to hold its maiden flight before the end of the year, according to the South China Morning Post.

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