Xian MA60

Air Zimbabwe MA60 at OR Tambo International Airport in 2007
Role Turboprop airliner
Manufacturer Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation
First flight 25 February 2000[1]
Introduction August 2000 with Sichuan Airlines[2]
Status In production
Primary users Merpati Nusantara Airlines
Okay Airways
Joy Air
Produced 2000–present
Number built 80 delivered + 210 ordered (March 2013)[3]
Unit cost
US$11-12 million[4]
Developed from Xian Y-7
Variants Xian MA600
Xian MA700

The Xian MA60 (新舟60, Xīnzhōu liùshí, "Modern Ark 60") is a turboprop-powered airliner produced by China's Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The MA60 is a stretched version of the Xian Y7-200A,[5] which was produced based on the An-24 to operate in rugged conditions with limited ground support and has short take-off and landing (STOL) capability.[6]

The airplane received its type certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in June 2000. The MA60 has not applied for FAA(US) and EASA(Europe) type certification, and is not certified for use in the European Union or the USA.[7][8] The general designer of MA-60 series is Lü Hai (吕海).

As of October 2006, XAC has received over 90 MA60 orders. The factory had delivered 23 MA60s by the end of 2006, and expects to deliver an additional 165 by the end of 2016.[9]



Current operators

In March 2014, 53 MA60 are in service and 14 are stored:[11][12]

Lao Airlines Xian MA60 at Pakse Airport in 2009.
Zest Airways MA60 at Marinduque Airport, Philippines
Model of a MA60 in Joy Air livery
Xian MA60 in the Djibouti Air Force
Afghanistan Afghanistan
Bolivia Bolivia
Burundi Burundi
Cambodia Cambodia
Cameroon Cameroon
China China
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo
Djibouti Djibouti
Eritrea Eritrea
Indonesia Indonesia
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan
Laos Laos
Myanmar Myanmar
Nepal Nepal
Peru Peru
Philippines Philippines
Republic of the Congo Republic of the Congo
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
Tajikistan Tajikistan
Tonga Tonga
Ukraine Ukraine
Yemen Yemen
Zambia Zambia
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

Customer summary

Airlines In service Orders Total
East Horizon 1 1
TAM - Transporte Aéreo Militar 2 2 4
Air Burundi 1 1 2
Royal Cambodian Air Force 2 2
Cambodia Bayon Airlines 2 18 20
Camair-Co 3 3
LAC 6 6
Djibouti Armed Forces 1 1 2
Massawa Airways 1 1
Kyrgyzstan Airlines 3 3
Merpati Nusantara Airlines 14 14
Lao Airlines 4 4
Lao People's Liberation Army Air Force 4 4
Lao Skyway 1 1 2
Myanma Airways 3 3
Nepal Airlines112
Civil Aviation Flight University of China 2 2
China United Airlines 1+1 stored 2
Okay Airways 13 17 30
Joy Air 9 21 30
Sichuan Airlines 2 stored 2
Wuhan Airlines 3 stored 3
YingAn Airlines 1 9 10
CDS Regional Express 4 4
Zest Airways 4 retired 4
Air Congo Int'l 4 4
Sri Lanka Air Force (Helitours) 2 2
Tajik Air 1 1
Real Tonga 1 1
Mars RK 3 3
Felix Airways 6 6
Zambian Air Force 2 2
Air Zimbabwe 2 2

Accidents and incidents

As of May 11, 2015, there have been 13 accidents involving the MA60. One accident was fatal (MZ8968) resulting in 21 passenger and 4 crew deaths.[18] This caused for instance New Zealand to go as far as suspending tourism aid to Tonga and warned tourists about flying the aircraft which had been gifted to the country.[19]

Operational problems

The New Zealand Government suspended its programme of development aid to Tonga's tourism industry in July 2013 after a MA60 donated by the Chinese Government was delivered to the airline Real Tonga.[32] In August 2013 the New Zealand Government also issued a statement advising tourists to not travel on Real Tonga's MA60 on the grounds that "this aircraft has been involved in a significant number of accidents in the last few years", and the type "is not certified to fly in New Zealand or other comparable jurisdictions".[33][34] Real Tonga ceased operating the MA60 in early 2015 after the Tongan Government passed legislation adopting New Zealand's civil aviation regulations.[35] A proposal to re-establish Royal Tongan Airlines to operate the MA60 was reported later in the year.[36]

Specifications (MA60)

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004[37]

General characteristics


See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. 国产MA60(新舟60)飞机介绍,搜狐军事频道,16 August 2009
  2. "MA60". deagel.com. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  3. "Domestic-Made Regional Jet ARJ21 to Be Delivered in 2014". Archived from the original on March 11, 2014.
  4. "Procurement questions clip Merpati's wings". thejakartapost.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  5. "MA60 is derived from Y7-200A by the application of better performance engine, state-of-the-art avionics package and new maintenance methodology." Archived February 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. Up close and personal with the Xi’an MA60 | The Jakarta Post
  7. "Tonga travel advice - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  8. "Quality of Chinese-made plane questioned after crash". The Jakarta Post. 9 May 2011.
  9. Aviation Week & Space Technology, 29 October 2007 issue, p. 66, Commercial Transport Update
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 Komissarov & Gordon. “Chinese Aircraft”. Hikoki Publications. Manchester. 2008. ISBN 978-1-902109-04-6
  11. "AeroTransport Data Bank". Aerotransport.org.
  12. Archived February 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. "Our Fleet". East Horizon Airlines. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  14. Cantle, Katie (12 August 2010). "Okay Airways continues fleet expansion". ATWOnline.
  15. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2013. My Republica, Government to sign agreement with China for aircraft procurement. Retrieved Nov 28, 2013
  16. Sri Lanka Air Force takes delivery of MA 60 aircraft Archived October 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka, 2011-10-01
  17. MA60 aircraft by Chinese Xi'an Aircraft finds its first European buyer AirForceWorld.com 2012-05-23
  18. Chong, Aaron. "Joy MA60 accident likely to be type's fifth hull loss". Flightglobal. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  19. Thompson, Chuck. "'Unsafe' Chinese airplane hurting Tonga tourism". CNN. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  20. "PICTURE: Zest MA60 crashes on landing in Philippines". Flight International. 12 January 2009.
  21. "Philippines' Zest MA60 overshoots runway at Caticlan". Flight International. 25 June 2009.
  22. "Three bodies from crashed Merpati plane burried [sic] in Papua". Antara News. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  23. "Indonesia: 'No survivors' after plane crashes off Papua". BBC News. 7 May 2011.
  24. "Government Says Human Error to Blame for Merpati Airline Disaster". The Jakarta Globe. Archived from the original on September 29, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  25. Hradecky, Simon (January 9, 2012). "Accident: TAM Bolivia MA60 at Guayaramerin on Jan 9th 2012, gear up landing". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  26. Hradecky, Simon (16 May 2013). "Accident: Myanma MA60 at Monghsat on May 16th 2013, runway excursion". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  27. Hradecky, Simon (10 June 2013). "Accident: Merpati MA60 at Kupang on Jun 10th 2013, landed short of runway and broke up". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  28. "Aircraft Accident Investigation Report (Preliminary) Merpati Nusantara Airlines Xi'An Aircraft Industry MA60; PK-MZO El Tari Airport, Kupang Republic of Indonesia, 10 June 2013" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Committee. 9 July 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 25, 2013. Retrieved 10 Jan 2014.
  29. Hradecky, Simon (10 June 2013). "Incident: Myanma MA60 at Kawthaung on Jun 10th 2013, runway excursion". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  30. "新鄭機場飛機降落墜地".
  31. Hradecky, Simon (10 May 2015). "Accident: Joy MA60 at Fuzhou on May 10th 2015, runway excursion on landing". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  32. Arrow, Brendan (10 July 2013). "Tonga loses NZ aid over use of suspect Chinese aircraft". ABC News. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  33. Schwartz, Dominique (10 August 2013). "New Zealand issues traveller warning over Tonga's MA60 plane safety". ABC News. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  34. "Tonga". Safe Travel. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Archived from the original on August 14, 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  35. "Notorious Tongan plane at centre of NZ travel warning grounded". TVNZ. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  36. "MA60 threat to Tonga's sole domestic carrier". Radio New Zealand International. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  37. Jackson 2003, p. 95.
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