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Thailand's City Airways signs for 10 C919s, 10 ARJ21s

Updated with Comac's comments

Thailand’s City Airways has signed a tripartite agreement with Comac and ICBC Leasing to take 10 C919 narrowbodies and 10 ARJ21 regional jets.

ICBC Leasing says it will help City Airways with the necessary leasing and financing options for its purchase, in support of bringing Chinese-made aircraft into Thailand and other Southeast Asian markets.The agreement was announced at the Aviation Expo in Beijing on 16 September.

Three ARJ21s and three C919s due for City Airways will come from ICBC Leasing's earlier commitment for 45 C919s and 30 ARJ21s, Comac tells Flightglobal. The remaining 14 aircraft for the Thai carrier will be new orders.

City Airways says Comac’s aircraft will meet the airline’s needs to service domestic as well as regional destinations.

Set up in 2011, City Airways operates scheduled domestic services from its bases in Bangkok and Phuket, as well as international charter flights. Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database shows that it has two leased Boeing 737s in service - one owned by AAR Aircraft Sales & Leasing and the other by International Aircraft Lease.

City Airways was grounded temporary by Thailand’s Department of Civil Aviation last September, after the authorities found several safety violations with the airline’s maintenance programme.

Comac is targeting to deliver its first ARJ21 to launch customer Chengdu Airlines in November, and for its C919 to take first flight in 2016.

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