China’s HNA Group and Comac have signed a tentative deal to explore establishing maintenance, material support and training businesses to support potential ARJ21 operators in Africa.
The deal was signed during a meeting between senior executives at the two companies in Haikou, and follows a broader strategic tie-up struck in June which saw HNA commit to add 200 C919s and 100 ARJ21s to its broader fleet.
Comac states that Ghanaian based HNA affiliate carrier Africa World Airlines plans to operate ARJ21s, and together the companies will look to grow the regional aircraft market across the wider continent.
They have signaled that this will include maintenance support for the aircraft, and potentially a leasing platform aimed at supplying ARJ21s to African operators.
To date, the only order for ARJ21s from Africa has come from the government of Congo, which has committed to purchasing three of the regional jets.