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China’s COMAC airplanes kick off demonstration flights in Southeast Asia

SHANGHAI (XINHUA) – C919 and ARJ21 jetliners produced by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd (COMAC) yesterday kicked off demonstration flights in Southeast Asia. The two jetliners have a tight schedule in the next two weeks in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.

COMAC said yesterday the demonstration flights can further verify the adaptability of China-made commercial aircraft to airports and routes in Southeast Asia, and lay a foundation for the company’s future exploration of the Southeast Asian market.

The two models garnered wide attention at the Singapore Airshow 2024 that concluded on Sunday.

According to COMAC, since the ARJ21 aircraft was commissioned for commercial operation in June 2016, a total of 127 ARJ21 aircraft have been delivered, safely transporting more than 11 million passengers. Currently, two ARJ21 aircraft operated by Indonesian airline TransNusa fly on four routes linking Jakarta with other cities, safely carrying more than 100,000 passengers.

Since the C919 aircraft made its first commercial debut on May 28, 2023, COMAC have delivered four jets to the airline company China Eastern, operating round-trip flights from Shanghai to Beijing and from Shanghai to Chengdu, carrying more than 130,000 passengers.

COMAC expects the demand for passenger aircraft in the Asia-Pacific market in the next two decades to increase from 3,314 to 9,701. The company has begun preparing to tap into the market.

A C919 large passenger plane at Hongqiao International Airport in China. PHOTO: XINHUA