The Chinese regional jet ARJ21-700, manufactured by COMAC, will debut on an international route from July 24, Indonesian airline TransNusa said.
The only foreign customer of the aircraft, TransNusa announced that the ARJ21 will take over the flight between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia, replacing the Airbus A320.
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Due to the smaller capacity (95 seats against up to 174 on the A320), TransNusa will expand daily flights from two to four frequencies, which will allow for a 12% increase in capacity on the route.
“We think frequency works better than capacity. That’s why I would like to try to put more frequency using smaller capacity aircraft to make this route more vibrant and exciting,” said TransNusa CEO Datuk Bernard Francis in an interview on Monday.
The Indonesia carrier was founded in 2005 and has a rather small fleet. In addition to two ARJ21s, TransNusa operates three A320ceo and a single A320neo – a third COMAC jet is being prepared for delivery.
Although headquartered in Indonesia, TransNusa has among its partners Chinese companies and indirectly also the lessor CALC, which signed a contract to supply 30 ARJ21s to the airline.
The ARJ21 has been in service since 2016, but the vast majority of the more than 100 jets delivered operate with Chinese airlines.
The aircraft was developed based on the MD-95 design and uses GE CF-34 turbofan engines.