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14 DECEMBER 2015

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Article from BTNews 14 DECEMBER 2015

First ARJ21 for Chengdu

The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) has delivered the first ARJ21 to domestic carrier Chengdu Airlines, calling it a big breakthrough in efforts to develop China’s domestic jet aircraft design and manufacturing capabilities.

China is keen to develop a successful commercial aircraft to rival Boeing and Airbus but it has been held back by inexperience, a shortage of local aerospace design and engineering talent and enough home-grown companies with the necessary technology.

The twin-engine ARJ21 is China's first locally-built regional jet and is designed to compete against Embraer and Bombardier.

It seats about 90 passengers and was given permission to fly domestically by China's civil aviation regulators at the end of last year following delays due to technological problems. It has not yet been granted certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration, limiting access to overseas markets.

Comac said in September it had signed a preliminary deal with ICBC Leasing to supply 10 ARJ21s and 10 C919s to Thai airline City Airways.

The first of the twin-engine C919s, which is due to fly next year and enter service in 2019, was unveiled by Comac last month (BTN 9 November) in a ceremony near Pudong International Airport, Shanghai.  www.comac.cc   www.chengduair.cc

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