Economic Watch: China-developed planes serve B&R countries

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-27 00:36:17|Editor: Liangyu
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BEIJING, June 26 (Xinhua) -- China is picking up the pace delivering its aviation products to Belt and Road countries.

More Belt and Road countries are embracing Chinese aircraft families, such as the MA60 series turboprop passenger planes, LE500 and Y-12 series general planes and Y-8 transport aircraft, said AVIC International.

AVIC International is a subsidiary of the state-owned aviation giant China Aviation Industry Corporation, which focuses on overseas sales and promotion of China's aircraft and other aviation products.

To date, China has delivered 57 MA60/600 turboprop planes to 18 Belt and Road countries and 103 Y-12 series planes to 28 Belt and Road countries, according to AVIC International.

The MA60 and MA600 turboprop aircraft, developed by AVIC Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Company Ltd., is designed to operate regional flights, and could also be modified to project artificial precipitation.

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

The China-developed aircraft families are designed to meet demands from the country's complicated geographical and weather conditions. And most of them are highly cost effective.

These features in both performance and price make the Chinese aircraft cater to wide-ranging Belt and Road countries, especially the developing countries.

In April, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC), 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, respectively 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, Nepali minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, when receiving the new aircraft in April.

"I am confident that with these planes, Nepal Airlines Corporation will be able to serve the demand of the general public and contribute in national economy," Adhikari added.

By the end of April, the delivered MA60 and MA600 aircraft at home and abroad have undertaken more than 420,000 flights, with total flight hours reaching 460,000.

They are operating on about 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 countries, such as pilot training, short-distance traffic and emergency rescue.

The LE500, the first Chinese general 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-part support and aviation network building, according to AVIC International.

AVIC has sent technical service and maintenance teams to support the smooth operation of Chinese planes in Belt and Road countries, as a commitment to better serve local customers.