Comac has started a six-month route-proving campaign for its ARJ21-700, as the programme gears towards the delivery of the first aircraft to launch customer Chengdu Airlines.

On 16 March, the airframer conducted a flight on the Shanghai-Tianjin route, carrying company executives and members of the local media onboard.

Nantong Xindong airport and Chengdu Shuangliu International airport are the two bases for the route-proving flights. Comac says services will be operated from the bases to Tianjin, Beijing, Wuhan, Nanjing, Fuzhou, Guiyang and Changsa, to simulate typical routes that the type will operate.

The flights are necessary to ensure that all systems on the aircraft can work together in real time safely. It will also help Chengdu Airllines’ flight crew become familiarised with the flight manual and its cabin crew with flight training, in preparation for formal delivery.

ICBC Financial Leasing earlier this month became the latest customer to commit to the indigenous chinese aircraft, with a purchase agreement for 30 of the jets. The ARJ21 received type certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China on 30 December 2014, more than 12 years after the programme was launched.

Source: Cirium Dashboard