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China-made planes gain popularity in B&R nations

Updated : 2018-07-09

By ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Aviation product deliveries from China to other Belt and Road economies are gathering momentum, with more nations opting for products like the MA60 series turboprop passenger planes, LE500 and Y-12 series general planes and Y-8 transport aircraft, a top manufacturer said.

According to data from AVIC International, a subsidiary of the State-owned aviation giant China Aviation Industry Corp, China has so far delivered 57 MA60/600 turboprop planes to 18 Belt and Road economies and 103 Y-12 series planes to 28 economies in the same region. The AVIC unit focuses on overseas sales and promotion of China's aircraft and other aviation products.

The MA60 and MA600 turboprop aircraft, developed by AVIC Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Co Ltd, is largely used for regional flights and can also be modified for use in artificial precipitation projects.

The Y-12 series, manufactured by AVIC Harbin Aircraft Industry Co Ltd, is a regional turboprop aircraft suited for passenger, cargo and emergency rescue flights in mountainous regions.

According to the manufacturers, the aircraft families are designed to meet the diverse demands arising from complicated geographical and weather conditions and are also highly cost-effective, thereby increasing their appeal in Belt and Road markets, especially developing nations.

In April, Nepal Airlines Corp, the national flag carrier of Nepal, received two 17-seat Y-12E planes from China. NAC signed an agreement with AVIC International to procure six aircraft viz two 56-seat MA60 and four 17-seat Y-12E in 2012.

"These aircraft are the symbol of cooperation between Nepal and China," said Rabindra Adhikari, Nepal's minister for culture, tourism and civil aviation. "I am confident that with these planes, Nepal Airlines Corporation will be able to serve the demand of the general public and contribute to the national economy," Adhikari said.

By the end of April, China's MA60 and MA600 aircraft used at home and abroad have undertaken more than 420,000 flights, with total flight hours reaching 460,000. They are operating in around 300 air routes, and have transported more than 11 million passengers around the world.

Besides the civil aviation market, China-developed aircraft are also serving other fields in Belt and Road economies, such as pilot training, short-distance traffic and emergency rescue.

The LE500, the first Chinese plane model to enter the African market, completed a successful maiden flight in South Africa in May. Two LE500 planes, dubbed Little Eagle 500 in Chinese, have successfully conducted their first flights at a pilot training school in South Africa. They will soon serve the local general aviation market.

China is joining hands with foreign aviation authorities and operators to boost professional training, spare-parts support and aviation network building, according to AVIC International.

AVIC has also sent technical service and maintenance teams to provide after-sales support in the Belt and Road economies.


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