First made-in-China jetliner makes debut commercial flight

SHANGHAI (AP) — The first regional jet produced by a Chinese government initiative to compete in the commercial aircraft market has made its debut flight. The ARJ21-700 jet operated by Chengdu Airlines made the two-hour flight Tuesday from the western city of Chengdu to Shanghai with 70...

 
              In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, people in panda costumes pose in front of a Chengdu Airlines ARJ21-700 plane before its first commercial flight at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu in southwestern China's Sichuan Province Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The ARJ21-700, made by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC), is China's first homegrown regional airliner and can seat 78 to 90 passengers depending on its configuration. (Ding Ting/Xinhua via AP) NO SALES

SHANGHAI (AP) — The first regional jet produced by a Chinese government initiative to compete in the commercial aircraft market has made its debut flight.

The ARJ21-700 jet operated by Chengdu Airlines made the two-hour flight Tuesday from the western city of Chengdu to Shanghai with 70 passengers.

The plane is intended to make its state-owned manufacturer, Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, a competitor to Bombadier Inc. of Canada and Brazil's Embraer SA.

The COMAC chairman, Jin Zhuanglong, said the flight "signifies the first time a domestically made regional jet has been used by a Chinese airline."

China is one of the biggest aviation markets but relies on foreign-made aircraft. The ARJ21 and a full-size jetliner also under development, the C919, are aimed at clawing benefits that flow to foreign commercial suppliers.

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