China’s big three airlines take delivery of domestically made ARJ21 aircraft

An ARJ21-700 aircraft arrives at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport after making its first flight from Chengdu to Shanghai on June 28, 2016. (AFP)
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Updated 28 June 2020

China’s big three airlines take delivery of domestically made ARJ21 aircraft

  • Three carriers earlier announced deals to each purchase 35 ARJ21-700 regional jets from COMAC
  • The ARJ21 entered commercial operations four years ago

BEIJING/SHANGHAI: China’s three biggest state-owned airlines on Sunday took delivery of their first ARJ21 aircraft, a short haul 90-seater aircraft made by state-run Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).
COMAC said in a statement on Sunday that Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines had received the aircraft, which has a 90-seat capacity, and would each take delivery of three ARJ21 aircraft this year.
Last August, the three carriers announced on the same day deals to each purchase 35 ARJ21-700 regional jets from COMAC, with deliveries scheduled from 2020 through 2024.
The ARJ21 entered commercial operations four years ago and is China’s first domestically manufactured airliner.
COMAC has two other passenger jet programs in development — the C919 narrowbody aircraft program which is currently undergoing flight testing, and the CR929 widebody program in collaboration with Russia.
China Eastern Airlines earlier this year launched a subsidiary — OTT Airlines — to operate ARJ21 and C919 airliners. It is slated to be the first customer for the C919, once the 160-seater plane receives airworthiness certification from the Chinese aviation regulator.
The C919 is a much more high-profile program, that will place COMAC in direct competition with Airbus and Boeing in the single-aisle market. The United States earlier this year considered whether or not to block the sales of LEAP-1C engines to the program, but it later relented.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on international travel has decimated the order books of both Airbus and Boeing.


Saudi Arabia’s 6-point plan to jumpstart global economy

Updated 36 min 18 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s 6-point plan to jumpstart global economy

  • Policy recommendations to G20 aim to counter effects of pandemic

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as president of the G20 group of nations, has unveiled a six-point business plan to jump start the global economy out of the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yousef Al-Benyan, the chairman of the B20 business group within the G20, told a webinar from Riyadh that the response to the pandemic -— including the injection of $5 trillion into the global economy — had been “reassuring.”

But he warned that the leading economies of the world had to continue to work together to mitigate the effects of global lockdowns and to address the possibility of a “second wave” of the disease.

“Cooperation and collaboration between governments, global governance institutions and businesses is vital for an effective and timely resolution of this multi-dimensional contagion transcending borders,” Al-Benyan said.

“The B20 is strongly of the view there is no alternative to global cooperation, collaboration and consensus to tide over a multi-dimensional and systemic crisis,” he added.

The six-point plan, contained in a special report to the G20 leadership with input from 750 global business leaders, sets out a series of policy recommendations to counter the effects of the disease which threaten to spark the deepest economic recession in nearly a century.

The document advocates policies to build health resilience, safeguard human capital, and prevent financial instability.

It also promotes measures to free up global supply chains, revive productive economic sectors, and digitize the world economy “responsibly and inclusively.”

In a media question-and-answer session to launch the report, Al-Benyan said that among the top priorities for business leaders were the search for a vaccine against the virus that has killed more than half-a-million people around the world, and the need to reopen global trade routes slammed shut by economic lockdowns.

He said that the G20 response had been speedy and proactive, especially in comparison with the global financial crisis of 2009, but he said that more needed to be done, especially to face the possibility that the disease might surge again. “Now is not the time to celebrate,” he warned.

“Multilateral institutions and mechanisms must be positively leveraged by governments to serve their societies and must be enhanced wherever necessary during and after the pandemic,” he said, highlighting the role of the World Health Organization, the UN and the International Monetary Fund, which have come under attack from some world leaders during the pandemic.

Al-Benyan said that policy responses to the pandemic had been “designed according to each country’s requirements.”

Separately, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority said that it was “too early” to say if the Kingdom’s economy would experience a sharp “V-shape” recovery from pandemic recession.