The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) has continued to showcase its two homegrown aircraft, the C919 and the ARJ21, outside of China for the first time with a flight display at the Vietnam Airshow ahead of a five-country tour in Southeast Asia. 

After demonstrating the aircraft at the Singapore Airshow, COMAC’s display in Vietnam begins a tour of demonstration flights in Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia, according to China Media Group.

The 192-passenger C919 had so far only been flown within its home country after its debut commercial flight for China Eastern Airlines, currently its only operator, in May 2023.

However, the smaller, 90-passenger ARJ21 saw its commercial debut in 2016 and is already in use by Indonesian airline TransNusa as well as eight Chinese operators, but will appear in some of the five countries for the first time. 

According to reports, COMAC is hoping that by demonstrating its two aircraft across the region, it may be able to attract carriers outside of China as it attempts to build a brand that might one day rival the almost duopoly of Airbus and Boeing in the large aircraft manufacturing market. 

Though China Eastern is currently the only airline to fly with the C919, with four in operation in its fleet, COMAC claims to have more than 1,000 orders for the aircraft on backlog and signed a deal for 40 more with Tibet Air during the Singapore event in mid-February, as well as an order for 10 ARJ21s.

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