First Flight for Chinese Airliner


After 14 years of research and development, China's first jet airliner made its first commercial flight on Tuesday.

The ARJ21, made by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), has a price tag of $30 million, and can carry up to 105 passengers over 2,000 nautical miles.

The first aircraft was delivered to Chengdu Airlines, and flew from Chengdu to Shanghai. There are over 300 ARJ21's on order from a wide variety of airlines.

China's growing air travel market is expected to need 6,000 aircraft over the next 20 years, and currently just a handful of firms are able to supply them - dominated by Europe's Airbus and Boeing from the USA.

Comac's ARJ21 is seen by analysts as a major step-forward in China being able to build competitive airliners domestically.

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