Domestic Jets Expand Reach: ARJ21 & C919 Demo Flights in SE Asia

Domestic Jets ARJ21 and C919 Embark on Demo Flights in Southeast Asia

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On February 27th, it was reported that domestically manufactured commercial aircraft ARJ21 and C919 have commenced demonstration flights in Southeast Asia. In the afternoon of the same day, the ARJ21 aircraft took off from the Yuntun International Airport in Quang Ninh, Vietnam. Over the next two weeks, COMAC’s ARJ21 and C919 aircraft will conduct demo flights in five countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

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Photo by Wang Jiliang

The demonstration flights of the domestically produced commercial aircraft in Southeast Asia aim to validate their adaptability to airports and routes in the five Southeast Asian countries, suitability of airport ground service equipment, applicability of special flight procedures, as well as the economic feasibility of route operations. This showcases the excellent performance of the aircraft and lays the foundation for future expansion into the Southeast Asian market.

It’s worth mentioning that the ARJ21 and C919 aircraft participating in these demo flights are the same ones that recently completed flight demonstrations at the Singapore Airshow. During the demo flight activities, these aircraft will also be on static display, and COMAC will conduct product promotion activities for potential customers.

Since the entry into commercial operation of the ARJ21 regional jet in June 2016, a total of 127 aircraft have been delivered, safely transporting over 11 million passengers. Among these, two ARJ21 aircraft operated by Indonesia’s Linyi Airlines have opened four routes based in Jakarta, serving five cities and safely carrying over 100,000 passengers. The C919 large passenger aircraft completed its first commercial flight on May 28, 2023, and has since delivered four aircraft to its first customer, China Eastern Airlines. It has commenced round-trip flights between Shanghai and Beijing, as well as Shanghai and Chengdu, safely transporting over 130,000 passengers to date.

According to the latest market forecast by COMAC, the demand for aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to increase from 3,314 aircraft to 9,701 aircraft over the next twenty years, indicating a substantial market demand. To address this, COMAC has established a Southeast Asia representative office for its Southeast Asian customers, set up a Guangzhou aviation materials regional depot, established maintenance networks based on customer-owned facilities, and synchronously planned training centers nearby to provide operational support and guarantee for customers.

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