Comac has secured its first order for a business jet variant of the ARJ21 regional jet.

Chinese conglomerate Yan Shang Group inked a letter of intent with the Chinese airframer on 10 May, for the purchase of an ARJ21-700 business jet.

Financial details of the deal and the delivery schedule are not available.

The LOI will not only speed up the development of Chinese-made business jets, but also push forward the development of the ARJ21 series, says Comac.

The Chinese airframer has long said that besides the baseline model, it also intends to developed the stretched, freight and business jet variants of the ARJ21.

Comac is targeting to achieve certification for its much delayed regional jet by end 2014. Progress on the ARJ21 programme, which began 12 years ago, has been slow as engineers encountered problems both in development and certification. Comac has so far received 252 commitments for the ARJ21, mostly from Chinese airlines and leasing companies.