Which passenger planes are made in China
China's first regional airliner, the ARJ21, was delivered on Sunday. The passenger aircraft, produced by the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC), headquartered in Shanghai, was bought by Chengdu Airlines.
The Xiangfeng (Flying Phoenix) is a twin-engine jet with a capacity for 90 passengers with a standard range of 2,220 kilometers. It is to be used on important routes such as Chengdu-Beijing and Chengdu-Shanghai. COMAC has received more than 300 orders from 19 airlines, including three from the Republic of the Congo.
The aircraft is China's first regional jet to be manufactured to international standards. After its maiden flight in 2008, it underwent rigorous testing before receiving certificates of airworthiness from the China Civil Aviation Administration and the US Federal Aviation Agency.
The jet will also stimulate the development of China's first large passenger aircraft, the C919. After developing the ARJ21, COMAC was able to complete the design, calculation and testing for the production of the first C919 in seven years. The jet was presented to the public earlier this month. It is said to compete with the Airbus 320 and the Boeing 737. The aircraft programs showed that China's aviation industry is taking shape to compete with its Western counterparts, said Luo Ronghuai, chief commander of the ARJ21 development project.
China is the world's largest civil aviation market with its 21 largest airports with an annual capacity of over ten million passengers and a fleet of over 3,000 aircraft dominated by Boeing and Airbus. The ARJ21 jet is the first China-made aircraft in the fleet.
Chengdu Airlines has ordered five more ARJ21 jets. The delivery should take place before the end of 2016. The airline hopes to have a fleet of 30 ARJ21s in five to six years. He Peiwen, the assistant manager of Chengdu Airlines, said the first jet would be used on seven domestic routes in three months, and later on routes to Southeast Asian countries.
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