Two months after starting operations with the ARJ21-700 regional jet, TransNusa Airtlines, from Indonesia, recently took delivery of the second example of the aircraft produced by the Chinese state-owned manufacturer COMAC.
The Indonesian company is the first and only foreign customer for the Chinese passenger plane so far.
The airline has 30 ARJ21 jets on order, which will be delivered gradually through 2026. The aircraft destined for the company are leased by China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC), one of the largest commercial aircraft lessors in Asia.
The deal is further helped by the fact that CALC owns 49% of TransNusa.
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Introduced to the Chinese market in 2016, the ARJ21-700 is the first passenger jet built in China, although it is based on the McDonnell Douglas MD-90.
By the end of 2022, COMAC had 690 orders for the aircraft from 25 customers, of which more than 100 were delivered to nine Chinese companies and to TransNusa. According to the manufacturer, the planes currently operate on 316 routes and 118 cities.
“The main reason for choosing the ARJ21 is its good safety and reliability – since the first ARJ21 aircraft was delivered to Chengdu Airlines and started commercial operation in 2015, more than 100 ARJ21 aircraft have been delivered. It has operated safely for over 200,000 hours . In addition, the ARJ21 has good high temperature performance and crosswind resistance, which can perfectly match the operational needs of Indonesia as a country of thousands of islands,” said Leo Budiman, vice president of the airline.
The main flight operated by TransNusa’s ARJ21 is between Jakarta and Bali, the busiest route in Indonesia – and one of the 10 busiest routes in the world.
The airline also plans to use the Chinese jet on international flights from the Indonesian capital to Kuala Lumpur, in neighboring Malaysia.