China’s OTT Airlines completes maiden flight from Shanghai to Beijing
Published: Dec 28, 2020 04:03 PM

Photo: Courtesy of China Eastern Airlines

The newly-founded OTT Airlines, a subsidiary business run by China Eastern Airlines, completed its maiden flight from Shanghai to Beijing on Monday. 

The flight was made by a domestically produced ARJ21, China's first turbofan regional passenger jetliner with a capacity of 90 seats.

From the end of this year to March 2021, OTT Airlines will fly the routes from Shanghai to Beijing, Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi Province, Hefei, East China's Anhui Province and Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province. 

Zhang Daqi, who captained the inaugural flight, has flown 6 types of aircraft with a safe flight time of over 18,300 hours. He flew a business jet to accompany the C919 which had its trial maiden flight in May 2017, according to a note sent from China Eastern. 

OTT Airlines will receive 3 ARJ21-700s at the beginning of the operation, and is expected to receive another batch of 6 ARJ21-700s in 2021 and 8 more in 2022. By 2025, its fleet size of ARJ21 will reach 35. 

China Eastern Airlines launched OTT Airlines in February this year, with a vision of flying domestically manufactured passenger aircraft primarily in China's mainland market, a move to show the country's ambition to compete with global plane-makers.

The Shanghai-based company said the new carrier will mainly fly ARJ21 and C919, two models manufactured by Commercial Aircraft Corp of China.

The name OTT refers to the sequence "One Two Three", which originated from "Tao Te Ching", authored by ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.