FARNBOROUGH: Comac grows ARJ21 orderbook

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Chinese airframer Comac has grown its ARJ21 regional jet’s orderbook by six aircraft at the Farnborough air show, bringing its backlog to 258 jets.

The Republic of Congo has signed a memorandum of understanding with Comac for the purchase of three ARJ21-700s, making it the first African country to sign up for the type.

Comac has also won a purchase agreement from YanShang for a business jet variant of the ARJ21, for which the Chinese conglomerate becomes a launch customer.

Another Chinese company, Nanshan, has signed a letter of intent for two ARJ21 business jets. Besides a business jet operation, Nanshan also holds a 51% stake in Chinese start-up carrier Qingdao Airlines.

Comac is targeting certification for its much-delayed regional jet by year-end. Progress on the ARJ21 programme, which was launched 12 years ago, has been slow as engineers encountered problems both in development and certification. Most of its orders are from Chinese airlines and lessors.