BEIJING/SYDNEY, Sept 14 (Reuters) – China’s first C919 narrowbody jet to be delivered to launch customer China Eastern Airlines (600115.SS) is about to enter final assembly, China’s aviation regulator said on Monday, with delivery due before the end of the year.

The C919, being built by state-owned planemaker Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), will mark a milestone in a decade-long programme to rival aircraft made by Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing (BA.N).

The C919 programme’s certification board met in Shanghai on Sept. 10 and reviewed COMAC reports on batch production of the jet, the Eastern Region Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said on its social media account. Read more