China Eastern Airlines (MU, Shanghai Hongqiao) plans to take delivery of just a single C919 by the end of 2022, despite the Chinese-built narrowbody finally obtaining its type certificate on September 29.

The carrier disclosed in its half-yearly report that out of its five firm-ordered C919s, one was scheduled to deliver by the end of 2022 and the other four in 2023. They will be operated by subsidiary OTT Airlines. While COMAC boasts of having over 800 commitments for the aircraft, its firm order book comprises 188 units, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows. Besides China Eastern Airlines, Air China and China Southern Airlines have firm orders for five aircraft each, while the remainder is allocated to various lessors - mainly from mainland China, but also to Ireland's CDB Aviation (ten units) and Hong Kong's Continental Aerospace Technologies (15).

Prior to its entry into service, the C919 has yet to obtain its airworthiness certificate and production certificate.

The narrowbody is exclusively equipped with CFM International LEAP-1C engines. The reliance on Western suppliers made COMAC susceptible to US trade sanctions, which have slowed down the development of the C919. COMAC is currently designated by the US as a military end-user.