China Express Airlines took delivery of its first ARJ21, the nation’s first domestically developed regional jet, on Tuesday.
The private regional airline based in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality has signed an agreement with the Commercial Aircraft Cooperation of China (COMAC) to buy 100 Chinese-made passenger aircraft. They include 50 ARJ21s and another 50 ARJ21 or C919s, the first home-grown single-aisle jet.
The airline is the seventh operator of the ARJ21, following Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Chengdu Airlines, Jiangxi Air and Genghis Khan Airlines. The jet aims to further enrich China’s regional air network, according to the COMAC.
The ARJ21 is China's first turbo-fan regional passenger jetliner which has a range of 3,700 kilometers. It can fly in alpine and plateau regions, and adapt to various airport conditions.
COMAC has so far delivered 39 ARJ21s to Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Chengdu Airlines, Jiangxi Air, Urumqi Air and Genghis Khan Airlines. Orders for the ARJ21 total about 600 units from more than 20 domestic and international customers, according to COMAC.
More than 1.31 million passengers have now traveled on the ARJ21 via multiple Chinese carriers. Since the jet started commercial operations with Chengdu Airlines in June 2016, it has connected 64 domestic and international cities. Also planned are additional short and medium-haul routes to eastern Russia, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and South Asia.