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Chinese state-owned aerospace manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) has obtained airworthiness approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for its ARJ21 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion program.

Under the new program, COMAC will attempt to become the first choice for airlines operating in the regional Chinese air cargo market. While the company has not specified when the first ARJ21 narrow-body jet will be converted into a cargo aircraft, two local airlines, YTO Cargo Airlines and Zhongyuan Airlines, have already expressed an interest in the freighter.

According to the manufacturer’s statement released on January 6, 2023, the converted ARJ21 will be able to fly up to 10 tons (more than 22,04 lbs.) of air freight containers meeting different standard sizes such as PMC, PAG, and AKE. The cargo jet will feature a full electric freight loading system, which will allow a customer to load goods via the main cargo door.


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