Comac completes assembly of first two ARJ21s for Chengdu Airlines

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Comac has completed the final assembly of its first two ARJ21 regional jets which will be put into commercial use.

The two jets will be delivered to Chengdu Airlines once the aircraft receives certification in 2014, says the Chinese airframer. It adds that to accelerate the delivery of the ARJ21 for commercial use, the programme's engineering and technical support systems have been put in place, while flight training and maintenance training are now in full-swing.

Comac had previously built four test aircraft for ground and flight test work. The aircraft has since made its first flight in 2008, completed 2,301 take-offs and landings, and accumulated 4,345 flight hours.

Chengdu Airlines said last November that it hopes to start services with its first ARJ21 by the end of 2014. Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows that the airline has 30 ARJ21s on order, scheduled for delivery from 2014 through to 2018.

Progress on the ARJ21 project, which began 12 years ago, has been slow as engineers encountered problems in development and certification. Comac has so far garnered 252 commitments for the ARJ21, mostly from Chinese airlines and leasing companies.