May 5, 2017 / 6:08 AM / in 5 months

China's C919 narrow-body jet takes off on maiden flight

SHANGHAI, May 5 (Reuters) - China’s home-grown C919 passenger jet took to the skies in Shanghai for its long-delayed maiden test flight on Friday, a major step for Beijing as it looks to boost its profile in the global aviation market.

The narrow-body aircraft, which will compete with Boeing’s 737 and the Airbus A320, is a key symbol of China’s ambitions to muscle into a global jet market estimated to be worth $2 trillion over the next 20 years.

Made by state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), the C919’s test flight had been delayed at least twice since 2014 due to production issues.

Reporting by Jackie Cai, Adam Jourdan and Brenda Goh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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