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Volume 14,Issue 3 Autumn 2012

The Maiden Flight of Chengdu Airlines Kicks Off


With the specially recorded background music of the bellowing sound of a plane taking-off, Chengdu Airlines Ltd. declared officially its opening for operation in Chengdu. Being the fifth biggest aviation city in China, Chengdu finally has its own airlines named after itself. With Sunbird as its flight logo, Chengdu Airlines, after the listing ceremony, began its virgin flight of Chengdu-Jining-Shenyang the next morning. In the future, Chengdu Airlines will focus its route development on western areas and regional flights, and will bear the responsibility of developing civil airplanes. United Eagle Airlines, predecessor of Chengdu Airlines, was the first private air transportation enterprise approved by CAAC in China. Last October, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Sichuan Airlines and Chengdu Communications Investment Group (CCIG) made a stock transfer deal to re-group United Eagle Airlines, holding 48%, 40.97% and 11.03% of the shares respectively. After the deal, the equity capital of United Eagle Airlines increased from 300 to 680 millions Yuan. The set-up of Chengdu Airlines blazes the trail for central, provincial and municipal enterprises to jointly develope and invest on companies. At present, Chengdu Airlines owns 7 Airbus A320 airplanes. It has opened 40 plus domestic flights to Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Wuhan, Nanning, Guilin, Hangzhou, Changsha, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Kunming, Guiyang and Lijiang. In the near future, Chengdu Airlines will launch more trunk lines as well as branch lines according to the market demand. Chengdu Airlines is the first ailrline that shoulders obligation of strategic development of civil aircraft. The restructure explored a market approach for home-made large aircraft project. Meanwhile, taking advantage of this opportunity, the all-round commercial operation of China’s commercial aircraft ARJ21 will be accomplished. The first ARJ21 airplane is expected to join the flying fleet of Chengdu Airlines at the end of 2009. As reported, Chengdu Airlines is the first buyer/user of ARJ21. The second ARJ21 will take part in flying next January and five total are expected to serve within the next first half year. Until 2015, aircraft fleet of Chengdu Airlines will reach 40 planes with 300 newly added pilots. Among them, 30 planes are home-made ARJ21 and 10 are Airbus A320. Domestic manufactured large aircraft C919 is expected to come into service during 2015-2016.

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