China’s new OTT Airlines nears official launch


Counting the last days until the official launch, One Two Three Airlines (OTT), a new China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA) subsidiary, will try to conquer Chinese domestic air travel market.

Global aviation downturn did not spook Chinese aviation novice called OTT. The airline is reported to commence official services on December 28, 2020. For the first flight, the air carrier will use domestically-manufactured Comac ARJ21 aircraft. OTT is based at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport (SHA). 

The airline’s name “One Two Three Airlines” refers to widely-known Chinese philosopher Laozi’s three principals of Daoism.

In February 2020, China Eastern Airlines (CIAH) (CEA), the parent company of OTT Airlines, said that the new airline was being launched in order to push Chinese-manufactured aircraft to wider markets. 

Domestically-manufactured fleet

According to Chinese media, OTT Airlines will operate an entirely Chinese-manufactured fleet of aircraft: the ARJ21 and the C919, both manufactured by the Chinese state-owned aerospace company Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC). 

The COMAC ARJ21 (Advanced Regional Jet) is the first short-medium range turbofan regional aircraft independently made by China. The ARJ21 aircraft has a layout of 78 to 90 seats, and a range of 2,225 to 3,700 km. 

Currently, OTT owns one Comac ARJ21 aircraft. However, the first batch of 35 COMAC ARJ21-700s is scheduled to be delivered before 2025.

Looking to the future, OTT Airlines plans to add 20 COMAC C919 aircraft to its fleet before 2030. The C919 single-aisle aircraft has a layout of 158 to 168 seats and a range of 4,075 to 5,555 km. 


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