COMAC strives to pitch ARJ21 in Southwest China

The ARJ21, a regional jet made by China Commercial Aircraft Corporation (COMAC), embarked on a three day-long demonstration tour in Southwest China earlier in the week to demonstrate high-altitude and cross-wind capabilities.

Chinese regional jet ARJ21 conducted high-altitude and cross wind demonstration flights in the country’s southwestern region starting August 19, 2019. On the day, the ARJ21 flew the Kunming-Lijiang-Xishuangbanna-Kunming route, followed by flights from Kunming to Linyi and from Kunming to Tengchong. In total, in a span of three days, the ARJ21 flew five routes among eight airports in China’s Yunnan Province (Kunming, Lijing, Xishuangbanna, Tengchong, Lincang and Dali). 

The flights were planned to demonstrate the suitability of the regional jet for the country’s highland market. COMAC describes the ARJ21 as the first passenger jet “designed according to the operating conditions of the central and western regions of China,” adding that it “has good high-altitude performance and anti-cross-winding capability” and is suitable for “airport take-off and landing conditions and complex route obstacles in Southwest China” as well.

The ARJ21, a short-medium range turbofan regional aircraft, has two variants, namely ARJ21-700 and ARJ21-900, with maximum seat capacity of 90 and 105 respectively. The aircraft is powered by two General Electric CF34-10A engines with maximum flight range (standard version) of 1,400 miles (2,200 kilometers). It was granted Type Certificate by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in December 2014, and  the Production Certificate (PC) in July 2017. 

So far, two airlines ‒ both Chinese ‒ operate the ARJ21. Chengdu Airlines, the launch customer of the jet, operates over 20 routes using the airliner, according to COMAC. data indicates that the airline currently has 12 ARJ21-700s, however, some of them might not be operational. Earlier in the summer of 2019, the second airline  ‒ recently launched Genghis Khan Airlines ‒ joined the ARJ21 operators’ club. It made the first commercial flight using the airliner on July 26, 2019, and currently has two jets in its fleet, data suggests. 

COMAC is a Chinese state-owned aerospace manufacturer, based in Shanghai. COMAC is also the manufacturer of C919 jets – the Chinese competitor to Russia’s in-development MC-21 passenger airliner and Boeing and Airbus narrow-body aircraft. 


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