In a new milestone for China's locally made regional jet – the ARJ-21 – Air China and China Southern have completed their first flights using the new aircraft.
The Beijing-based Air China completed the first flight using the ARJ-21 on July 10 as CA1109 between Beijing-Capital and Xilinhot in inner Mongolia.
Delivered in late June from COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), the ARJ-21 used is the first of three the airline will receive this year. In all, Air China ordered 35 of the jets.
Air China's ARJ-21s feature an all-economy cabin with 90 seats in a 2-3 configuration. With an interior that uses the unified products as with the entire Air China fleet, each seat has a USB power socket for each passenger.
After the first flight, Air China plans to use the new aircraft on routes from its hub at Beijing-Capital to Xilinhot, Baotou, Ulanhot and Hohhot of Inner Mongolia.
After Air China completed its first flight with the ARJ-21, Guangzhou-based China Southern followed with its own inaugural flight using the new jet five days later.
China Southern's maiden flight using the ARJ-21 took off on July 15 from Guangzhou-Baiyun to Jieyang in Guandong Province.
While initially set to operate domestic routes out of Guangzhou, the airline plans to use the jets on routes departing from the Beijing-Daxing Airport as part of its dual-hub plan involving both Beijing and Guangzhou.
Similar to Air China, China Southern placed an order for 35 of the aircraft.
With the launch of ARJ-21 operations with Air China and China Southern, there are now five operators of the aircraft. The other three are Jiangxi Air, Chengdu Airlines, and Genghis Khan Airlines