China Southern received its 16th ARJ21 aircraft, and it will be the first ARJ21 at its second ARJ21 base in Shantou.

China Southern Shantou ARJ21 3
Photo: COMAC

China Southern Airlines received its 16th ARJ21 from COMAC on March 23rd; it is also the first aircraft delivered in 2023 and the 101st ARJ21 delivered.

After the delivery, China Southern implemented the ferry flight for this latest ARJ21 (with the registration number B-91A1) back to Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport (SWA). The aircraft landed at its new base at 4:30 PM.

China Southern Shantou new ARJ21 2

Photo: COMAC

According to COMAC’s official WeChat account page, it marks “the official arrival of the China Southern Airlines’ ARJ21 at its second operating base, ushering in a new chapter in the commercial operation of China-made aircraft.”

China Southern Airlines’ ARJ21 has a cabin layout of 90 full-economy seats in a 2-3 configuration. The aisles are 19 inches wide. The seats are 17 inches wide, and the distance between them is 31 inches. When the seat in front is reclined, the seat bottom will automatically move forward, ensuring that the passengers behind still have a spacious experience. Additionally, each row of seats is equipped with a USB charging port.

China Southern’s 2nd ARJ21 operating base

China Southern Airlines have chosen Jieyang Chaoshan Airport (SWA) as its second ARJ21 operating base after its Guangzhou headquarters. SWA is also the base of China Southern Airlines Shantou Company, which welcomed the newest addition to its fleet with a water salute – the highest etiquette of the aviation industry.

China Southern Shantou ARJ21 water salute

Photo: COMAC

China Southern held a ceremony to officially introduce the latest ARJ21 on the next day (March 24th). Representatives from the CAAC, China Southern Airlines Group, COMAC, local governments, and China Southern Airlines Shantou Company were present to witness China Southern Airlines embark on a new journey to induct the second operating base for ARJ21 aircraft.

China Southern Shantou new ARJ21

Photo: COMAC

The relationship between China Southern Airlines Shantou Company and the ARJ21 can be traced back to November 1st, 2022. Taking into account the characteristics of the aircraft model, the requirements of the regional aviation market, and other factors, China Southern Airlines decided to launch Shantou Company as the second operating base for ARJ21 aircraft outside Guangzhou, with the aim of gradually increasing the flight capacity of ARJ21 aircraft in the Chaoshan market.

The China Southern Airlines Shantou Company was established on October 30th, 1993, and is the only large-scale aviation transport practitioner in the eastern Guangdong Province. Currently, it operates at two bases in Jieyang and Yiwu, and is the largest airline in both local markets.

After receiving its first ARJ21, its current fleet is composed of one ARJ21 and sixteen Boeing 737-800s. It has opened nearly forty domestic, international, and regional routes, connecting about 30 destinations.

China Southern Shantou ARJ21

Photo: COMAC

“I feel extremely proud and honored to be an ARJ21 pilot!” Captain Wei Weifeng of China Southern Airlines Shantou Company said, “It has been the dream of generations of civil aviation personnel to be able to fly a domestically produced aircraft in the blue sky, and it has finally come true here!”

It is reported that China Southern Airlines Shantou Company plans to gradually receive its second, third, and fourth ARJ21 aircraft after this summer-autumn aviation season, continue to fully serve the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, actively integrate into the construction of a strong civil aviation country, and provide motivation for connecting multiple business and commercial exchanges.


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