Tianjin trade zone delivers 2,000th leased aircraft
Published: Jul 29, 2022 11:27 PM
The 2,000th leased plane, an ARJ21 passenger aircraft Photo: Liu Yang/GT

The 2,000th leased plane, an ARJ21 passenger aircraft Photo: Liu Yang/GT

Dongjiang Free Trade Port Zone (DFTP) in North China's Tianjin Municipality saw the delivery of its 2,000th leased aircraft on Friday, a mark of the rapid development of the country’s aircraft leasing business over the past 10 years.

Yang Liu, director of the administrative committee of the DFTP, said during a press conference on Friday that the newly delivered plane reflected a new stage in China’s aircraft leasing service and aviation manufacturing industry.

The 2,000th leased plane, an ARJ21 passenger aircraft developed by the state-owned plane maker Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), is China’s first self-developed turbofan airplane with independent intellectual property rights in accordance with international standards.

Liu Yan, vice general manager of COMAC, told the Global Times during the delivery ceremony that by mid-July, the company had delivered 68 ARJ21 aircraft and opened 263 routes to 110 cities.

Following the delivery of the 2,000th leased plane, Hohhot in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region will become the aircraft's main operating base. 

The DFTP has become a symbol of the rapid development of the country’s leasing industry.

In 2009, the zone launched the aviation leasing business. Eight years later, it delivered the 1,000th leased aircraft. At present, the zone has developed into the world's second-largest aviation leasing hub in terms of the overall asset volume following Ireland, and it took the zone less than five years to deliver its 2,000th leased aircraft.

“Combined with the high-quality development of China’s civil aviation industry, the country’s aircraft leasing business has achieved fast growth,” Yang said, adding that leasing has become the main way for domestic airlines to introduce aircraft.

At the same time, the leasing industry has gradually “fed” the country’s civil aviation industry, Yang noted.

The bonded leasing model explored by China’s aircraft leasing industry has saved airlines about 6 percent of rental costs compared to leasing aircraft from abroad. Moreover, Chinese aircraft leasing companies have provided a large amount of low-cost capital and high-quality services to the civil aviation industry, which has reduced the annual rental rate of airlines by about 3 percent. 

“These two factors have saved airlines tens of billions of yuan in rental costs,” Yang said.

“The reduction in aircraft leasing costs has transmitted to airline ticket prices, which has also reduced the cost of air travel for domestic passengers,” Shi Jinfeng, deputy director of the Financial Leasing Bureau of the DFTP, told the Global Times on Friday.

In the future, the DFTP will continue to improve the industrial chain of aircraft leasing, making every effort to build the world’s leading aircraft leasing center as well as aircraft export leasing and offshore leasing center.