China’s three major airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, on Sunday took delivery of their first ARJ21 aircraft, China’s first domestically developed regional aircraft.
A short haul 90-seater aircraft is manufactured by state-run Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).
“The simultaneous delivery of the three aircraft marks the official entry of ARJ21 aircraft into the fleets of international mainstream airlines,” COMAC said in a press release on Sunday.
The ARJ21 entered commercial operations four years ago and is China’s first domestically manufactured aircraft.
The three airlines will each receive three more ARJ21 aircrafts this year, according to the statement.
Last August, the three carriers announced on the same day agreements to each purchase 35 ARJ21s from COMAC, with deliveries scheduled from 2020 through 2024.
According to the Reuters, COMAC has two other passenger jet programs in development, the C919 narrow-body aircraft program which is currently undergoing flight testing, and the CR929 wide-body aircraft program in collaboration with Russia. The C919 will place COMAC in direct competition with Airbus and Boeing in the single-aisle market.