China delivers first new regional jet

A model of the new COMAC ARJ21 (photo by Jordan Tan)
A model of the new COMAC ARJ21 (photo by Jordan Tan)

China’s domestic aircraft manufacturer, COMAC, has delivered its first ever ARJ21 regional jet.

The new ARJ21-700 aircraft was received by Chengdu Airlines on 29 November 2015, marking the first of an order for 30 aircraft placed by the Chinese carrier. The aircraft comes equipped with 90 seats and will be deployed on domestic routes.

The ARJ21 is the first of several major passenger aircraft projects being undertaken by Shanghai-based COMAC. The company is also developing the C919, which is being seen as a potential rival to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, and it is in talks with Russia about co-developing a new wide-bodied aircraft.

Chengdu Airlines’ first ARJ21 will undergo a series of tests before entering commercial service in the first quarter of 2016. It plans to take delivery of four more ARJ21s by end of 2016.

COMAC has so far taken orders for approximately 300 ARJ21s, mainly from Chinese airlines and aircraft leasing companies. But it has also seen interest from Southeast Asian carriers including Lao Airlines and Myanmar National Airlines.

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