Chinese airlines announce COMAC orders
Chinese planemaker Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) got a boost on Friday (30 August) when three of the country’s top airlines announced plans to each buy 35 ARJ21-700 regional jets. Air China, China Southern Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines said in separate stock filings that the orders are worth US$1.33 billion each, based on list prices. Deliveries were scheduled from 2020 through 2024.
The almost identical announcements from the major airlines may signal an acceleration in the developments of the jet as Beijing seeks to promote its first domestically manufactured jet despite a slow start to sales and production hiccups, according to a report from Reuters.
The carriers said the aircraft purchases were aimed at boosting capacity in their regional markets. China Eastern this month rebranded its Eastern Jets business which operates in general aviation as Air 123 to include public transportation services. Chinese media have reported that the business was designed to operate home-grown jets such as the ARJ21 and the C919.