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BEIJING, May 26 (Reuters)China Eastern Airlines, the first customer for the country’s C919 narrow-body jet, will launch the is on a plane first commercial flight on Sunday, the carrier’s app showed on Friday.

Flight C919 will take off like flight number MU9191 at 10:45 a.m. Beijing time (0245GMT) from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport and arriving at Beijing Airport at 1:10 p.m.

The commercial operation of the C919 marks a milestone in the country’s hopes that the aircraft will break the long-standing Airbus-Boeing duopoly in the global airline manufacturing industry.

Manufactured by Commercial Aviation Corp of China (COMAC) to compete with the Airbus AIR.PA A320neo and Boeing TO FORBID A family of 737 MAX single-aisle jets, the C919 has flown many flights without passengers.

eastern china 600115.SS said on Thursday that the C919 will enter service “in the near future” and the aircraft will operate commercially with Shanghai as its main base. The airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

On Tuesday, the Shanghai Stamp Collecting Corporation said a promotional stamp would commemorate the C919’s first flight on Sunday.

China Eastern signed a contract for five C919s in March 2021 as part of the first commercial agreement for the aircraft. The Shanghai-headquartered carrier received its first C919, numbered B-919A, in December and began 100 hours of test flights checking empty planes.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said last year that the C919 would make its first commercial flight in the spring.

The 164-seat aircraft comes with a two-class cabin layout, consisting of business and economy seats.

Although the C919 is assembled in China, it is highly dependent

on western components, including engines and avionics, from

companies including GE GE.NSaffron SAF.PA and Honeywell

International HON.O.

(Reporting by Albee Zhang, Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Gerry Doyle)

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