China's Chengdu Airlines, the launch customer of the first Chinese regional jet ARJ21-700, held ceremonies in both Chengdu and Shanghai to celebrate its first commercial flight of the new aircraft. Powered by GE CF34-10A engines, ARJ21-700 is the first indigenous Chinese regional jet developed and manufactured by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC).
COMAC is also developing the larger C919, designed to compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737.
COMAC launched the ARJ21 programme in 2002. The 70/95-seat aircraft, which bears more than a passing ressemblance to the McDonnell Douglas MD-80, was initially targeted to enter service in 2007, but multiple technical problems - including a wing failure during static testing - resulted in years of delays. The aircraft received a Type Certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in late 2014.
Headquartered in Chengdu, Chengdu Airlines is operating both passenger and freighter business on more than 50 routes in China, with a fleet of 20 Airbus A320 and an ARJ21-700 aircraft.