The first group of Chinese pilots have completed training on the Rolls-Royce-powered Tupolev Tu-204 freighter prior to Air China beginning operations “soon”, according to Tupolev.  

The aircraft, a Tu-204-120CE, received Russian certification in December after a four-month test programme of the first Chinese-built aircraft.

©Vladimir Karnozov

Power comes from Rolls-Royce RB.211-535E4 engines, which replace the Aviadvigatel PS-90A turbofans. 

Tupolev says Cubana de Aviacion flight and ground crews are also undergoing conversion training for the Tu-204CE. The Cuban flag-carrier expects delivery of two Tu-204CE freighters and a Tu-204-100E passenger aircraft later this year.