China’s MA-60 Enters Service

 - October 27, 2008, 5:21 AM

China’s Okay Airways has put into service its first Modern Ark (MA) 60, also known as the Xinzhou-60.The twin-engine turboprop, made by China’s Xian Aircraft Industry Corp. (XAIC) is an advanced version of the Yun-7, which took wing in 1982 and is being phased out. The airplane’s commercial debut with Okay marks the end of foreign-made airplanes’ monopoly in China’s regional jet market. Okay, China’s first private-sector airline, ordered 10 MA-60s; Ying An Airlines ordered 60 last year. The aircraft can carry 50 to 60 passengers and sells for about $12.5 million. So far XAIC has received orders for 136 MA-60s from domestic and foreign airlines and exported 13 to Zambia, Congo, Laos, Zimbabwe and Bolivia. China is expected to need 800 regional jets over the following 20 years. XAIC said it will increase production of the MA-60 while promoting the MA-600 and accelerating the development of MA-700.