by Xinhua writer Hu Tao
SHANGHAI, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The China-developed ARJ21 regional jetliner has achieved continuous progress in commercial operations, according to developer the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).
COMAC has been exploring the commercial operations of ARJ21 by developing its advantages to better meet market needs, said the Chinese commercial aircraft maker.
FLYING INTO MARKET
In joining hands with airlines, COMAC gains experience from the commercial operations of ARJ21 and optimizes its design, production and services.
According to the plane-maker, the ARJ21 has just achieved a major landmark in commercial operations by flying the one millionth passenger on July 20.
The aircraft is China's first turbo-fan regional passenger jetliner. Designed with 78-90 seats and a range of 3,700 km, it can fly in alpine and plateau regions and adapt to various airport conditions.
As a pioneer of Chinese commercial airplanes, the ARJ21 was put into commercial service in June 2016 by Chengdu Airlines.
As the launch operator, Chengdu Airlines has been building the commercial operation systems for operations management, maintenance, and training of professionals.
By now, the airline has received 21 ARJ21 planes and used them in establishing a network connecting cities across China with both trunk and regional routes.
The airline has also opened several high altitude routes to exploit the jetliner's advantages and explore its potential.
On Oct. 26, 2019, the China-developed civil airplane model embarked on a significant journey in commercial operations. Chengdu Airlines used ARJ21 on the first international service between northeast China's Harbin and Vladivostok in Russia's Far East.
The airline is also creating international hubs for the short and medium hauls of ARJ21, aiming to extend its network to Russia's Far East, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The move has been made through the airline's two established operational bases in Harbin and the eastern city of Weihai, and the scheduled base in south China's pan-Beibu Gulf region.
EYEING COMMERCIAL SUCCESS
The real success of a commercial aircraft model is measured by its commercial success. The ARJ21 brand is developing in the market and gaining credibility by serving more routes with more carriers.
To date, COMAC has delivered 33 ARJ21 planes. They are serving routes linking 56 cities and playing the role of express air channels among second and third-tier cites across the country. This shows that the ARJ21 has initially realized the scale of commercial operations, said the developer.
On June 28, COMAC delivered one ARJ21 each to the country's three major carriers: Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and China Southern. These deliveries mark the arrival of the homegrown jetliner in the domestic mainstream civil aviation market.
In 2020, each airline is expected to receive a total of three ARJ21 planes.
In February, China Eastern Airlines unveiled its subsidiary One Two Three Airlines (OTT Airlines), which will mainly operate the China-developed commercial aircraft ARJ21 and C919.
Inducting the ARJ21 into the fleet helps China Eastern optimize its route network by integrating both trunk and regional routes, also paving the way to operate the home-developed trunk jetliner C919, sources with the airline said.
The C919 passenger aircraft is now under intensive test flights to verify performance and capacity in various conditions such as high altitude and high temperature environments, said the COMAC.