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China’s COMAC to showcase C919, ARJ21 jets in 5 Southeast Asian countries

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BEIJING: Chinese state-owned planemaker COMAC will conduct flying displays of its C919 and ARJ21 jets in five Southeast Asian countries, it said on Tuesday (Feb 27), as it looks to lay the groundwork for future international sales.

Over the next two weeks, the C919 and ARJ21 jets will conduct showcase flights in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia, the Shanghai-headquartered aircraft manufacturer said in a statement.

It follows the arrival of the C919 passenger jet in Vietnam to participate in an airshow there on Monday after the Singapore Airshow concluded on Sunday.

The two planes were showcased at the Singapore Airshow last week, marking the first display outside Chinese territory of the C919 jet, a narrow-body plane touted as a competitor to Boeing’s 737 MAX and Airbus’ A320neo.

The ARJ21 regional jet is the C919’s smaller predecessor that mainly flies in China but is also operated by an Indonesian airline. The jet with 78 to 97 seats will take off from Van Don International Airport in northern Vietnam on Tuesday afternoon to conduct a demonstration flight, according to COMAC.

“The primary purpose of these flights is to … showcase the aircrafts’ good performance and lay the groundwork for future market expansion in Southeast Asia,” the company added.

China has said it wants to secure broader international recognition for the C919 this year and will pursue European Union Aviation Safety Agency certification.

The jet has so far gained more than 1,000 orders, but mostly from Chinese airlines and aircraft lessors.

Source: Reuters/kg

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