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PICTURE: ARJ21 starts operations with Chengdu Airlines

The Comac ARJ21-700 regional jet has commenced operations with launch customer Chengdu Airlines.

Flight EU6679 took off from Chengdu Shuangliu International airport at 09:25 local time on 28 June for a service to Shanghai Hongqiao International airport. Chengdu Airlines says this is the ARJ21’s first revenue passenger service. The aircraft landed at 11:26 local time.

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The airline intends to first deploy the jet, registered B-3321, on short flights to established domestic points such as Beijing, Xian, Wuhan, Shenzhen and Shanghai. This is to ensure the aircraft can handle safe and reliable operations, as well as to build customer awareness of the indigenous jet.

Chengdu says it is scheduled to take delivery of two more ARJ21s this year. It took its first ARJ21 last November, and has a further 29 examples on order.

Certificated by the Civil Aviation Administration of China in December 2014, the ARJ21 had been in development for 12 years and was plagued by numerous programme delays that put it eight years behind its original schedule.

Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer shows that Comac has garnered 161 orders for the aircraft, mostly from Chinese carriers and leasing companies.

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