African airlines order six AVIC MA60s


African airlines have ordered six MA60 twin turboprop airliners as AVIC seeks to further tap the aircraft’s potential in Africa and Latin America.

According to the China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC), National Airways Cameroon has ordered three MA60s, Air Burundi has ordered two and Trans Air Congo has ordered one of the type. Deliveries are scheduled to take place next year.

The recent firm orders from Africa bring the MA60’s order book to 202 aircraft – 16 MA600s and 186 MA60s (the MA600 is an improved version of the MA60 and was rolled out in 2008). Some 54 MA60s have been delivered to airlines in China and abroad.

The MA60 is made by China’s Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation under China Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I). The MA60 is a stretched version of the Xian Y7-200A, which is based on the Antonov An-24. The MA60 was designed to replace earlier Y-7 variants.

The MA60 first flew in March 2000 and received its type certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in June 2000. The first aircraft was delivered to Sichuan Airlines in August 2000. The MA60 has not been type certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The MA60 can carry 60 passengers at a cruising speed of 430 km/h over a range of 1 600 kilometres. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127J turboprops, each producing 2 051 kW (2 750 shp).