At the beginning of the month, Chinese state-owned aerospace manufacturer COMAC received a 100-aircraft order from China Express airlines. The first ARJ21 flew from Shanghai to Chongqing today, marking the first delivery.
China Express Airlines, also known as Huaxia Airlines, is China’s first private regional airline. The ARJ21 is the first of his type received by China Express Airlines, and the 39th ARJ21 aircraft delivered by COMAC to customers in total.
According to the purchase contract officially signed by COMAC and China Express, 50 of the 100 aircraft are ARJ21 series aircraft, and the other 50 aircraft can be ARJ21 series aircraft or the first Chinese built large passenger aircraft C919, which shall be decided by both parties through subsequent negotiation.
China Express currently operates 13 A320 and 38 Bombardier CRJ-900. It has opened 165 routes, among which 95 % are regional routes. With the joining of ARJ21 aircraft, the company believes that it will further supplement its regional aircraft’s capacity and improve the overall route network layout. Worth mentioning, China Express Airlines was one of the few airlines that still recorded a profit in the first half of 2020 under the pandemic, thanks to the regional aviation business model.
According to COMAC, the ARJ21 is a new type of turbofan regional aircraft with independent intellectual property rights developed by China, which can meet the operational requirements targeting airport takeoffs and landings and complex route overfalls in central and northern China.
Local industry experts commented that the mass order and first delivery of COMAC to China Express is a landmark of the Chinese-built aircraft. It shows that ARJ21 has gained more customers’ recognition after more than four years of market operation, which will further enrich China’s regional aviation network and help develop the civil aviation industry.