The ARJ21 aircraft has now carried one million passengers, the manufacturer of the aircraft, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) announced on Monday 27 July.

    Launch customer Chengdu Airlines has now accumulatively operated 21 ARJ21 aircraft on 46 domestic and international routes among 43 cities since the inaugural flight of the regional jet in June 2016.

    Over the four years, Chengdu Airlines has set up and perfected operations management, maintenance support and training systems for the aircraft and gradually built a route network structure covering most regions in China.

    The airline has also opened an international round-trip route between Harbin and Vladivostok, in addition to general plateau round-trip routes such as a route between Chengdu and Lanzhou.

    Chengdu Airlines has established operational bases in Harbin and Weihai to speed up the pace of ARJ21’s introduction abroad, and has also planned to establish a base in Pan-Beibu gulf region to provide supporting points for Russian Far East, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and part of South Asia and to build a hub of international short- and medium-range routes for the aircraft.

    Expanding operations

    The manufacturer says that, since the launch of the aircraft, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Genghis Khan Airlines and Jiangxi Air have also joined the ranks of ARJ21 operators, receiving a total of 33 aircraft.

    COMAC says it actively listens to the suggestions of various airlines regarding the design optimisation, production & manufacturing and customer service of ARJ21, to jointly explore regional aviation operation modes suitable for China’s conditions and to promote the sound and steady development of China’s commercial aviation industry.