China's CALC buys 30 ARJ21 jets, to deploy them in Southeast Asia

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Jan 8 (Reuters) - China’s Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) has signed a firm order with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) to buy 30 ARJ21 regional jets, both companies said on Friday.

The aircraft would be deployed in Southeast Asian markets and CALC was granted a purchase option to place order for 30 additional aircraft, they said.

Deployment in Southeast Asia would mark the first foray into overseas markets for the ARJ21 aircraft, which has not yet gained airworthiness certificates from U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

COMAC delivered 24 ARJ21 to clients in China last year, including the first deliveries to its big three airlines.

The aircraft gained certification from the Chinese regulator in 2014 and its production rate has been picking up pace in recent years after earlier design issues. (Reporting by Stella Qiu in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Alexander Smith)