(Yicai Global) May 3 -- Chengdu Airlines Co., currently the only owner of the China-made ARJ21, a twin-engine regional airliner, has deployed the aircraft on five new routes to debut the plane in the chilly north of the country.
The jets began flying the routes yesterday, state-owned news agency Xinhua reported, citing the ARJ21’s developer Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China. One of the routes will connect Harbin in the northeast with Chengdu in the southwest, while the remainder will link Harbin with nearby cities, such as Heihe on the Russian border.
"Flying in cold regions challenges the aircraft's multiple key systems, such as the engines, electrical power supply, environmental control and hydraulic pressure," said Chen Yong, the jet’s chief designer. The firm began testing the plane in cold weather conditions in December and it performed well even at minus 30 degrees Celsius, he added. Crosswind test flights were conducted in Iceland in March.
The ARJ21 already has 2,600 flight hours and 65,000 passengers under its belt after entering commercial operation in June 2016. It had run on three domestic routes before the latest additions. The aircraft seats 78 to 90 people with a range of 3,700 kilometers and a cruising speed of over 955 kilometers per hour.
Editor: James Boynton