China’s first homegrown regional jet is about to take off after finally gaining an official stamp of approval to carry passengers.
Chengdu Airlines is the first carrier to make use of the new ARJ21-700 jet. The 90-seat aircraft was developed by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).
In 20 years, the Chinese market will need more than 5,500 new planes to meet demand – costing $670 billion.
“The civil airplane project is quite an important, significant symbol of China’s strategy transformation and it’s part of the China Dream,” said Gao Haotong, a senior project manager for COMAC’s ARJ21-700.
Guo Yufeng, a Chinese aviation analyst, said there are other countries developing the ARJ, including other BRICS nations and Canada.
However, Guo said that COMAC’s ARJ has captured the domestic Chinese market. He said that the ARJ21 is “comprised of many famous companies’ products” and that travelers need not worry.
Guo also said that a lack of civil airspace is the reason for frequent flight delays and diversions in China.