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China's COMAC Delivers Its 100th ARJ21 Jetliner

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China's COMAC Delivers Its 100th ARJ21​

January 2, 2023 09:21 IST

32 ARJ21s were delivered in the second half of 2022, which also set a new annual delivery record of 34.

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Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) announced its 100th ARJ21 delivery on its official WeChat account on December 29th. COMAC describes this milestone as the ARJ21 program has ushered in a new stage of "mass production, large-scale operation, and serialized development."

COMAC further comments on the achievement:

"The delivery of the 100th aircraft after the mass production is an important milestone for any commercial aircraft type. It means that the operating performance and operating level of the ARJ21 aircraft fleet are basically equal to that of mainstream aircraft, indicating that the safety and reliability of this aircraft have been fully tested by airlines and the civil aviation market."

Fast-growing delivery number​

Simple Flying reported earlier on June 28th this year that COMAC delivered its 67th and 68th ARJ21 to Chengdu Airlines and China Southern Airlines, which are also the only two ARJ21s delivered in the first half of 2022.

The official announcement of the 100th delivery means COMAC delivered 32 ARJ21 in the second half of 2022, which is not only the best number in any half-year, but also beats the annual delivery record of 23, which was achieved in 2020.

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COMAC's current annual production capacity for the ARJ21 program has reached 50 aircraft annually, with a balanced production rate of 30 aircraft per year, according to the official release of COMAC.


Current customers and orders

COMAC's ARJ21 now has eight domestic external customers: Chengdu Airlines, Genghis Khan Airlines, Jiangxi Air, Air China, OTT Airlines (wholly-owned by China Eastern Airlines), China Southern Airlines, China Express, and a general aviation company named China Flight General Aviation Company (CFGAC); and one foreign customer: Indonesia's TransNusa Airlines.

Since receiving its first ARJ21 on November 29th, 2015, Chengdu Airlines has received 34 ARJ21 aircraft; however, COMAC has brought back 7 of them since 2020 for various reasons (cargo-configuration change, charter service, etc.), making the current Chengdu Airlines' ARJ21 fleet stand at 27 aircraft.

One interesting fact is that after COMAC brought back the ARJ21, one went to its own charter service, COMAC Express.

Two weeks ago, on December 18th, COMAC delivered an ARJ21 to a foreign airline (TransNusa) for the first time.

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So far, according to COMAC, it has 670 ARJ21 passenger aircraft orders and 70 ARJ21 cargo configuration orders from 20 different customers, though not all the orders are determined orders.

The ARJ21 serialization development

The ARJ21 family has two versions: the ARJ21STD (standard range) and ARJ21ER (extended range). Now all the ARJ21 delivered are the extended version. Additionally, the ARJ21 has a business jet configuration named CBJ (COMAC Business Jet), and it's been certified with a supplemental type certificate (STC).

The CBJ was presented to the public for the first time at Zhuhai Airshow in November 2021. In the latest Zhuhai Airshow last November, COMAC presented its medical-transport configuration ARJ21.

The ARJ21 cargo configuration was spotted recently in COMAC's FAL facility near Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), with the livery of its customer, YTO Cargo Airlines.

Also, other ARJ21 modifications, like configuration for emergency command; and a firefighting configuration, were reported in development.

 
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Comac plans to start construction in 2021, conduct the first flight in 2023 and make the first delivery in 2025, two years earlier than planned in November 2016.

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