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China's first domestically manufactured passenger jet takes off

China’s first domestically manufactured regional passenger jet took off from southwest China's Chengdu City this morning to Shanghai for its first commercial operation.

Seventy passengers were onboard the ARJ21-700 with Chengdu Airlines Flight EU6679 that took off at 9:25am from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in Sichuan Province. It is expected to land at the Hongqiao airport around noon.

After taking a short rest, the twin-engine, 90-seat plane will fly back to Chengdu in the afternoon with passengers onboard, the airline said.

The carrier has trained 8 captains who can pilot the ARJ21 while 52 flight attendants have been trained to serve passengers on the aircraft, according to the airline.

Two ARJ21s, a plane often hailed as the “advanced regional jet for the 21st century,” have been delivered to the airline after completion of final test flights.

Apart from the Chengdu-Shanghai route, the carrier said it will deploy the plane on regional routes in western and northwestern China.

China began development of the ARJ21 in 2002.

The Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China who develops the plane estimates that China’s ARJ21 will grab up to 60 percent of the domestic market for mid-size regional aircraft in the next 20 years, competing with Bombardier and Embraer.


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