SHANGHAI, July 31 (Xinhua) -- China's Genghis Khan Airlines has proposed a plan to build a regional airline network with the ARJ21, China's first indigenously developed regional aircraft, according to its developer.
The Hohhot-based air carrier plans to expand its fleet to 25 ARJ21 airplanes in five years, the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) said.
With the ARJ21 planes, Genghis Khan Airlines is gearing up to build a regional airline network with 60 air routes to 40 destinations.
Set up in March 2018, Genghis Khan Airlines is based in Hohhot Baita International Airport in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
It is the country's first air carrier which operates the fleet with all domestic civil airplanes. To date, it has received two ARJ21 airplanes from the COMAC.
Starting from July 26, the airline has put the ARJ21 airplanes into commercial operation on two round trip routes from Hohhot to Ulanhot and Hohhot to Xilinhot, which connect the regional of capital with distant cities in the vast region.
Developed by the COMAC, the ARJ21 is designed with 78 to 90 seats and has a range of 3,700 km. It is capable of flying in alpine and plateau regions and can adapt to various airport conditions.
The first ARJ21 airplane was delivered to Chengdu Airlines in 2015. It conducted its first commercial flight on June 28, 2016.
To date, Chengdu Airline has used the ARJ21 airplanes to open more than 20 air routes, which connected more than 20 cities and served for more than 400,000 passengers.
EYES ON MARKET SUCCESS
The China-developed civil airplane model is already on its way to commercial operation at scale.
Genghis Khan Airlines and Chengdu Airlines have signed a cooperation framework agreement to facilitate the ARJ21 aircraft model into commercial operation at scale, according to the COMAC.
The cooperation includes the air transport market expanding, operation support, operation information sharing, tourism business and financial investment.
The training of aircrew, maintenance personnel and other professionals to support the ARJ21's commercial operation are underway.
China has seen a strengthening civil aviation industry thanks to continuous growth in various aspects, such as fleet size and total transport turnover.
As of June, China had a total of 3,722 civil aircraft, said the latest statistics released by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Persisting in the customer-centered and market-oriented guideline, The COMAC is endeavoring to sustain the growth of the civil aviation industry with safe, economical and environmental-friendly airplanes, the airplane maker said.
It is also collaborating closely with airliners in collecting market feedback, enhancing after-sale service and optimizing model development.
All these efforts will contribute to the commercial road of China-developed civil airplanes, the COMAC said.
China is now the world's second-largest civil aviation market. The International Air Transport Association forecast that China is expected to become the world's largest by the mid-2020s.