China flies high: First home-made jet makes debut commercial flight
The jet ARJ21 took to maiden flight from Chengdu city in southwestern China's Sichuan Province to Shanghai, marking a landmark success, state-run People's Daily reported. The jet manufactured by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), completed the maiden flight with a total of 70 passenger mostly journalists and television crews. The jet was delivered to Chengdu Airlines in November last year.
The Chengdu Airlines said the ARJ21 has a lower cost per seat than similar models of Airbus and Boeing models. More jets are expected to be used to fly on seven routes, including Chengdu-Shenzhen, Chengdu-Changsha and Chengdu- Guizhou amongst others, the report said.
COMAC said it received more than 300 orders from 19 airlines, including three from the Republic of Congo. The plane is China's first regional jet to be manufactured according to international standards and it is expected to compete with France's Airbus 320 and America's Boeing 737, the report said.
It was put through six years of gruelling tests before being awarded airworthiness certificates from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and the US Federal Aviation Agency.