China's latest turboprop, the MA-60, took off and landed with no problems at Tianjin Binhai International Airport on the weekend.
Though it might have been a flight that lasted not more than 10-minutes, The MA-60 has made its mark as the first Chinese-made jet to serve domestic airlines.
An MA-60 undertook a 10 minutes sortie during the weekend, and according to its manufacturer, Xi'an Aircraft Industry, created an important milestone in Chinese domestic aircraft production. The MA-60 is a 50-to-60-seat regional turboprop aircraft that is suited for frequent short and medium range flights between large hubs and regional cities. It utilizes some of the latest in design concepts and technology, and can operate on unpaved or relatively rough runways, such as soil, grass and gravel.
Till now, Xi'an Aircraft Industry has received more than 130 orders for the MA-60 from Asia, Latin America and Africa, and claims that safe operations, a competitive price and low operating costs are its main advantages.
The Tianjin-based OK Airlines has become the first domestic airline to put the Made-in-China MA60 into commercial service. The MA-60 would service the Bohai Bay area, flying to and from the cities of Tianjin, Yantai, Dalian and Jingzhou, cutting travel tome from the current six hours by boat, to a short 40-minute flight.
OK Airlines president Liu Jieyin said the Chinese government has offered favorable policies in the making of the aircraft, and that different airports are also giving his airline discounts for charges in using the jets. Consequently, he believes that OK Airlines would be able to pass on large discounts on air tickets to passengers.