(Yicai Global) June 29 -- China's first home-built passenger jetliner went into commercial operation yesterday when a Chengdu Airlines flight made the trip from Chengdu to Shanghai, carrying 70 passengers.
The ARJ21, an abbreviation of Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century, was developed by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC) to international standards. With capacity for 90 passengers, it will mainly be used for short- and medium-haul routes and has a maximum range of up to 3,704 kilometers.
According to COMAC's website, a special characteristic of the Regional Jet ARJ21 is its ability to adapt to the unique conditions of the plateaus of western China during takeoff and landing. Even with a full load, the ARJ21 can get off the ground using just one engine.
Chengdu Airlines is the first carrier to operate the ARJ21. As a hub for a number of airlines, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is the largest central terminus with connections to airports in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau region.
The C919, another passenger plane developed independently in China, officially came off the assembly line last November, and is expected to enter service this year. The C919 is a large aircraft with a maximum flight range of 5,555 kilometers and can carry 168 passengers.