Trip Report - Remarkable China Southern’s Brand New ARJ21 (First Flight!)

(Timings below are based on local time, UTC +8)

Good day IFC,

Welcome to my 2nd trip report! Two days ago, I am lucky enough to be flying on China Southern’s brand new ARJ21-700 fleet. As I had spare miles to spend, I have decided to fly on this unique route before the planes are moving out of the current base.

The Comac ARJ21 is a Chinese-made aircraft that first took flight back in 2008. The very first non-prototype aircraft was delivered to Chengdu Airlines 8 years later. China Southern, along with China Eastern and Air China took delivery of their first ARJ21-700 this year, which are late but never outdated.

For my first flight of the day, I flew from Guangzhou to Zhanjiang, a small but bustling city within Guangdong province. At 6:00am, the airport shuttle bus brought the passengers to this brand new aircraft. In front of me, it was B-650K, the third ARJ21 for China Southern. This aircraft was delivered on 4th December, and unexpectedly, it will be making its maiden commercial flight today morning.

Boarding B-650K

Ownership placard

Forgetting the tiredness of waking up at 3:30am, I boarded the aircraft with joy. The cabin crew handed us a bottle of mineral water, as there was no cabin service for this flight, which was under 50 minutes. This aircraft has an all-economy cabin, with a 2-3 configuration, summing up to 90 seats.

I specifically picked Seat 45A for a good wing and engine view. It was further than expected, but having this angle was definitely interesting, compared to usual jets such as A320 or B737.

We pushed back from the remote stand 10 minutes behind schedule, however the crew was confident in making up the time. This aircraft had a quick startup and we were on our way to Runway 01. After some smooth and quick taxiing, this powerful aircraft lifted off the ground, leaving about 60% of runway length available for an RTO (after calculations, that was approximately 5000 feet). The rest of the flight was uneventful, as I took some pictures and got some sleep before spending the morning in an unfamiliar city.

Eventually, the aircraft touched down on Runway 34 of ZGZJ, marking its success in serving its first batch of customers. As expected, the aircraft backtracked and taxied into the apron. I bid farewell to this special flight as the crew starts their turnaround to return to Guangzhou.

__________________________ Breakfast, walking around, lunch etc.__________________________

After spending a great morning in Zhanjiang, I came back to the airport for my return flight at about 1pm. It was the airport’s peak time, hence the small building became crowded, but that also means more aircraft movements.

For the next hour or so, the only activity for me was spotting as there were not many restaurants or facilities to offer from this basic airport. Soon enough, another ARJ21 landed and docked at the gate as I excitedly waited for boarding not long after seeing the disembarkation process.

Tianjin Airlines E195

China Eastern B737-700 with Yunnan Peacock livery

B-605W operating second flight of the day

Powered by GE CF34 (also commonly used in CRJ/ERJ series)

For this flight, it was operated by China Southern’s first ARJ21, with a young age of nearly 6 months (exactly half a year in 2 days time!). This is the “celebrity aircraft” amongst others as China Southern was advertising the new fleet when it was the sole aircraft in the airline.

At 2:30pm sharp, the boarding process began. Lucky enough, the aircraft was docked very near to our gate, so it did not take long for us to reach the ARJ21. Similar to the previous flight, a mineral water was available for the passengers and the occupancy rate was very high.

Surprisingly, the aircraft was ready to depart within 15 minutes after boarding was commenced, so we started taxiing and head to the end of our assigned runway. At last, we departed 5 minutes ahead of schedule.

Anyone knew this existed???

We had a steep climb and got to our cruising altitude very quickly, as I drifted off to sleep. It took only 20 minutes before the loud landing announcement was made, so I woke up and took more pictures of this aircraft. With some deviations due to traffic, it only took us 43 minutes to arrive at Guangzhou. The aircraft vacated the runway and docked at another remote gate within 5 minutes.

To sum up this experience, it was certainly enjoyable and interesting to fly on a different type of aircraft, and it was definitely a great achievement to be able to fly on a maiden flight. A suggestion is that if you prefer a quieter environment, choose the seats in front as the engines were roaring when I was sitting at one of the last rows of this plane. Nevertheless, it is a safe, agile and comfortable plane, which I look forward to see it flying globally some time in the future.

Anyone knows why are the words not painted, but are only on a sticker?

Thanks for reading this review and happy flying!
Insta: @g1mmy693


Seems like it was a cool trip! 👍 🇨🇳

Good photos too XD

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Most interesting trip report I have seen so far in the IFC! Keep it up!


I think it is first paragraph of ARJ in community!
Share one picture and also it is the first picture on Jetphotos of CZ’s COMAC ARJ21-700


A very unique trip report, thanks for sharing your experience! I actually really like the look of the aircraft, hope to see it flying in more places soon.

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Nice report! I haven’t flew this beautiful bird! As COVID is controlled in China and winter holidays is coming, I would love to fly it! Thanks for sharing your experience!


Awesome pics and story!

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Looks stunning! I believe B-001J is now B-605W, which is the one that I flew on my way back. Must agree that this plane sets a new milestone for CZ :D

It is definitely fun to fly this aircraft! It will be leaving ZGGG base tho, so need to be quick ;)

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Thanks for reading my report! Hopefully I can compile more pictures from previous flights as well as looking for more flying opportunities.

Really interesting review, I personally loved it! Hopefully that aircraft has a long and healthy career and I hope to see it to expand to other parts of the world! Nice review.

Absolute beauty, great photos!

Yeah, B-001J is the the COMAC Testing registration
Here is the B-605W’s picture , also took in Shanghai Pudong

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Looks great, must be pre-delivery or when it is commencing PVG-SWA sectors.

Furthermore, OTT Airlines’s ARJ21-700 will also operated soon, I think the route would be Shanghai hongqiao to Beijing Daxing

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Yeah, it is

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Nice report. Hopefully I will be able try out the ARJ21 in the future. When tensions between both sides cools down of course. Also what was the reason you went to Zhanjiang? Or was it just to fly the ARJ?

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Very nice trip report!

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It certainly is one of the coolest commercial aviation things that can happen!

Also this was a very interesting read about an aircraft not so know in Europe. Thank you very much for sharing your experience, really interesting!

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When you buy a B717 from Wish