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February 27, 2020

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1, 2, 3: New airline all set for take-off

OTT Airlines, a new Shanghai-based carrier, was launched yesterday mainly to operate China’s domestically developed passenger jets.

The wholly owned subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines will operate commercial and business jets out of the Hongqiao International Airport.

Its fleet will be mainly composed of ARJ21 regional jets and C919 single-aisle aircraft along with other Chinese-developed passenger aircraft.

The network will cover the Yangtze River Delta as well as China’s other coastal regions and neighboring areas. It will fly both regional and long-haul routes. “The new airline marks the first step of China Eastern to operate and support domestically developed passenger jets,” said Liu Shaoyong, president of CEA Holding.

“The airline aims to help build experience for domestically developed jets and let them fly higher, farther and better,” he said at the launch.

OTT stands for One, Two, Three, a name inspired by an opening line of a chapter of the “Tao Te Ching,” the classic text on Taoism by the ancient philosopher Lao Tzu.

The name could also represent “On-Time Travel” or “Over-The-Top Travel” to showcase its ambitions, according to the China Eastern. China Eastern signed a contract with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China in August 2019 to purchase 35 ARJ21-700 regional jets.

It also signed a purchase intention agreement with COMAC for 20 C919s in 2010.

In another agreement with COMAC in 2016, China Eastern was named as the world’s first operator of the C919.

The C919, with 168 seats and a range of 5,555 kilometers, will compete with the Airbus 320 neo and the Boeing 737 MAX.

COMAC has already secured 850 orders from 30 airlines for the C919.


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