Mainland-made planes showcased in Hong Kong

By Wu Kunling (China Daily) 10:01, December 15, 2023

Guests board a C919 airplane to tour its interior at Hong Kong International Airport on Wednesday. [Photo by Andy Chong/China Daily]

The visit of two Chinese mainland-made aircraft — the C919 and the ARJ21 — to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the first time fully reflects the great importance the nation attaches to the city's role as an aviation hub, and its aviation development, Chief Executive Lee Ka-chiu said.

At a welcome ceremony on Wednesday on the apron of Hong Kong International Airport, where the two planes are on display, Lee said he's proud that the SAR was involved in the certification process of the two aircraft and pilot training.

He revealed that one of the pilots who flew the C919 from Shanghai to Hong Kong is a flight expert sent by the Civil Aviation Department to take part in the certification work of the C919, and is also among the first batch of C919 pilots.

This is a good example demonstrating Hong Kong's contribution to the nation's aviation development, he said.

Lee pointed out that China is the world's largest shipbuilder, leading vehicle producer, and a prominent developer of high-speed rail networks, and achieving this milestone in building large passenger planes further solidifies the country's leadership in all areas of air, land and sea transportation manufacturing.

Lee added that Hong Kong has much to contribute to the country's aviation development.

Hong Kong is located in the center of Asia and is less than a five-hour flight from half of the world's population. Last year, HKIA continued to rank first globally in terms of cargo throughput. Lee noted that the city strives to fully realize the government's "Airport City" vision, and noted that the Three Runway System is expected to be completed in 2024 and will substantially increase the overall capacity and competitiveness of the airport.

Lee vowed to make full use of Hong Kong's strength in the aviation industry and its internationalization advantage under "one country, two systems" to make greater contributions.

The C919 — a large passenger aircraft — has received more than 1,061 orders since its maiden flight in 2015, while the ARJ21 has secured 775 orders since its maiden flight in 2008.

The narrow-bodied C919, developed by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, is designed to carry between 158 and 192 passengers. It has a length of 38.9 meters, a wingspan of 35.8 m and a height of 11.95 m — similar to Boeing's 737 and the Airbus A320.

The ARJ21, an advanced regional jet, has 78 to 97 seats, with a range of between 2,225 and 3,700 kilometers. With a length of 33.5 m and a wingspan of 27.3 m, the jet is 8.4 m tall.

The jetliner ARJ21 was delivered to its first overseas client in December last year, officially entering the foreign market.

Zheng Yanxiong, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, also attended the ceremony.

The two planes are being displayed at the HKIA. Members of the Executive Council, the Legislative Council, representatives of the aviation industry and youth groups were the first to get a glimpse of the domestic aircraft in Hong Kong.

If the weather permits, the single-aisle C919 will perform a flypast over Victoria Harbour on Dec 16.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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