China's ARJ21 and C919 are on display at Singapore Airshow 2024!

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Comac went to Singapore with two aircraft types — the C919 and the ARJ21 — making their first appearances at an air show outside of China. Not only do three examples of airliners adorn the static park, they also participate in aerial developments.

The newest C919 first flew in May 2017. The model is intended to be a competitor to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 and entered commercial service with China Eastern, with the first passenger flight scheduled for May 2023.

ARJ21 and C919 aircraft will evolve in flight

China Eastern served as the launch customer for the C919. The airline received its fourth plane in January this year. By the end of 2023, Comac reported orders for around 1.000 units. The first non-Chinese customer is Gallop Air, a Chinese-backed company from Brunei, which has ordered 15 x C919s (and 15 x ARJ21s).

Comac's other debutant, the ARJ21 regional jet, bears a passing resemblance to the McDonnell Douglas MD80/90 family, once built under license in China. The General Electric CF34-powered aircraft first flew in November 2008, and Comac delivered the first aircraft to Chengdu Airlines in November 2015. The first commercial service, between Chengdu and Shanghai, began in June of the following year.

The company initially built the aircraft in Shanghai and added a second assembly line in Pudong in 2020. Comac announced firm orders for about 200 ARJ21s, although the number could be higher. Deliveries had reached about 125 by the end of January 2024. In 2022, Indonesian carrier TransNusa became the first international customer, ordering 30 aircraft. One of these aircraft is on static display in Singapore.

So far, all deliveries have been of the ARJ21-700, configurable between 70 and 95 seats, but COMAC has suggested developing an expanded ARJ21-900 for 95 to 105 passengers and an ARJ21B business jet version.

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