Tibet Airlines signs deal with COMAC to research plateau-suited C919 variant

BEIJING (Reuters) – Tibet Airlines signed a deal on Sunday with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) to jointly research a variant of China’s narrow-body C919 jet suitable for high-altitude plateaus.

The deal will help develop domestically made passenger jets and safeguard national security and border stability, Tibet Airlines said in a statement on its WeChat account, citing the Tibet region’s vice-chairman, Wei Xiuchang.

No timeframe was given for the new variant development.

State-backed COMAC recently showcased two variants of C919 – a stretched model and a shortened one fit for plateaus – at an aviation exhibition in Shanghai, Chinese media reports said.

The C919 is being touted as a rival to the Airbus (AIR.PA) A320neo and Boeing (BA.N) 737 MAX single-aisle jet families.

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by William Mallard)