Chinese regional jet activity revs up
China’s AVIC I announced a trio of orders for 35 ARJ21 regional jets during the Beijing Air Show last month. The largest of the three contracts–for 20 of the 70- to 90-passenger jets–came from Shenzhen Financial Leasing. The others involved a five-aircraft launch order from Shanghai Aviation Group and a 10-unit commitment from Shandong Airlines. AVIC I expects to fly the first prototype in 2006 and start deliveries by the end of 2007. Separately, AvCraft Aviation has resumed deliveries of Fairchild Dornier 328JETs to Chinese regional Hainan Airlines. Before the Chinese government suspended RJ imports in late 2001, Fairchild Dornier delivered 19 of an order for 40 of the jets to Hainan. AvCraft has since negotiated a new contract that calls for delivery of eight more airplanes.