Air China completes COMAC ARJ21 inaugural flight

COMAC made this announcement:

ARJ21-700 aircraft (B-605U) newly introduced by Air China Limited flew flight CA1109 from Beijing Capital International Airport to Xilinhot Airport at 7:47 on July 10, 2020, completing its inaugural flight successfully and entered into route operation officially.

Before the departure of the inaugural flight, a short and enthusiastic inaugural flight ceremony was held at the Capital Airport. Mr. Cai Jianjiang, Secretary of the Party Leadership Group and Chairman of China National Aviation Holding Corporation Limited (CNAH), Mr. He Dongfeng, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC), and Mr. Chai Weixi, Vice President of Air China, attended the ceremony, and congratulated Air China on the successful inaugural flight of the first ARJ21 aircraft. For most of the passengers taking this inaugural flight, it is the first time to take a China-made aircraft. From the moment they got the news, they became more excited and curious than ever before; and from the moment of they entered the cabin, they began to feel every detail of ARJ21 aircraft. The China-made aircraft gave a new meaning to this flight.

As the main body of CNAH, Air China has its ARJ21 aircraft complete the inaugural flight in the route of Beijing-Xilinhot, which has greater significance. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, CNAH has resolutely implemented the requirements of the CPC Central Committee, resolutely taken fixed-point poverty alleviation as an important political responsibility, officially identified a fixed-point assistance relationship with Sonid Right Banner of Xilingol League in 2013, established an “8+2” assistance system, and made positive efforts. Sonid Right Banner lifted all 34 poverty-stricken villages out of poverty, and officially dropped from the list of poverty-stricken counties and banners in April 2019. CNAH has forged a profound friendship with Xilingol League in the course of poverty alleviation, and the route of Beijing-Xilinhot has witnessed CNAH and Xilingol League working together to depict the beautiful picture of poverty alleviation and prosperity.

In order to realize the early operation of ARJ21 aircraft by Air China, and make passengers experience the safe, comfortable and smooth service of China-made aircraft during journey, since the aircraft was delivered on June 28th, Air China has quickly coordinated the preparatory work before inaugural flight with its rigorous, professional and efficient operation support capability, and immediately put backbones in flight and ground posts as well as full-time and part-time instructors into practical training. Work related to ground support testing, from cabin/cargo compartment layout and ground support process watching and practice to special support vehicle testing, parking position testing and onboard service facility & equipment check, and even to the assembly/disassembly and operation demonstration of cabin/cargo compartment equipment, onboard emergency equipment and catering equipment, was successfully completed within three days after arriving in Beijing, and the aircraft was in good condition. In the subsequent flight training and verification flights, the flight, maintenance, and route support capabilities of the flight crew, flight attendants and maintenance team were further tempered and tuned in, operational approval was successfully obtained from authorities, and Air China has been fully prepared for the inaugural flight of ARJ21 aircraft.

ARJ21 aircraft is the first turbofan regional jet independently developed by China in accordance with international standards and owning independent intellectual property right. ARJ21 aircraft has the characteristics of adaptability, comfort, economic efficiency, commonality and serialization. The comfort of ARJ21 aircraft can compare favorably with trunk liners, and the cabin space of ARJ21 aircraft is wider and higher than that of aircraft of the same kind. ARJ21 aircraft of Air China is in all economy-class cabin configuration with seats for 90 passengers. The seats are arranged in 18 rows with two seats on the left and three seats on the right of the aisle in each row, and are of the latest ultra-thin type made in China with a simple appearance and comfortable sitting. The spacing, seat back angle and width are comparable to the configuration level of the existing single-aisle passenger aircraft of Air China. At the same time, a USB power socket is provided for each passenger. The cabin interior uses the unified interior products for the whole Air China fleet, embodying “the unity of nature and mankind”, the whole cabin is decorated with elements of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, and catering is consistent with the current route configuration standards in order to strive to provide passengers with a better travel experience.

As planned, Air China will receive three ARJ21-700 aircraft in 2020, which will fly the routes from Beijing Capital International Airport to Xilinhot, Baotou, Ulanhot and Hohhot of Inner Mongolia. The introduction of ARJ21 aircraft will help to supplement the regional aircraft transport capacity of Air China, promote the effective connection of Air China’s main and regional flights, further expand the carrying capacity of the Air China fleet, further improve the overall route network layout of Air China, and enhance market competitiveness, so as to meet the popularized air travel demand of passengers.


ARJ21 aircraft of Air China completed its inaugural flight on July 10th, 2020.

ARJ21 aircraft of Air China completed its inaugural flight on July 10th, 2020. Photographer: Wei Meng

ARJ21 aircraft of Air China completed its inaugural flight on July 10th, 2020. Courtesy Air China

ARJ21 aircraft of Air China completed its inaugural flight on July 10th, 2020. Photographer: Wei Meng

ARJ21 aircraft of Air China completed its inaugural flight on July 10th, 2020. Photographer: Zhou Zhongxu