COMAC held a joint ceremony on October 30 to deliver the first two ARJ21 cargo jets. The two aircraft were delivered to Air Central and YTO Cargo Airlines in Guangzhou.
The ARJ21-700 freighter is capable of carrying 10 tons of payload and has a large front cargo door as well as a versatile fastening system, explained COMAC.
The range of the cargo version is 2,778 km, or around 1,000 km less than the Embraer E190F, which can carry 10.7 tons – the Brazilian jet is also part of a conversion program for originally passenger planes.
The first two converted ARJ21-700s, however, are very new aircraft. The B-3388 registration plane, delivered to Air Central, has not completed six years since its first flight.
The aircraft operated with Chengdu Airlines between March 2018 and September 2021, when it was returned to COMAC to begin the cargo conversion process, which was completed in September.
The ARJ21, registration number B-3329, is even more recent, with five and a half years in service. Like the B-3388, the jet was delivered to Chengdu and flew for just 17 months before returning to the manufacturer.
Flights to Japan and South Korea
COMAC stated that YTO Cargo Airlines’ ARJ21 freighter is expected to carry out commercial flights soon to destinations in Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia.
The plane received by Air Central is scheduled to fly to cities such as Zhengzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
The cargo conversion program began in 2020 and type certification was obtained from the CAAC (Chinese civil aviation agency) in January 2023.