China Express Airlines has converted a previously announced conditional order for six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft into a firm order and has taken options on an additional five of the regional jets.
As previously announced, and based on the list price of the Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen, the manufacturer values the firm order contract at approximately US$264 million. This could increase to approximately US$491 million should the airline convert its five options to firm orders.
Bombardier announced on October 26, 2011 that a Chinese airline, which at that time wished to be unidentified, had placed a conditional order for CRJ900 NextGens. On February 9 this year Bombardier Aerospace confirmed that the conditional order had been placed by China Express Airlines.
“Our five 50-seat CRJ200 regional jets have served us very well since we started operations in 2006, and we are confident that the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, which offers excellent economics, will support the growing passenger demand on our larger routes,” says Hu Xiaojun, chairman of China Express Airlines.
China Express, which is China’s first private regional airline, is based in Guiyang in Guizhou province and provides regional passenger service with its fleet of five Bombardier CRJ200s. The airline will be the first to launch CRJ900 service in China.
“As the only aircraft manufacturer with three distinct and optimized families of aircraft in the 60-to-149-seat market segment, Bombardier is well positioned to support the growth of China’s air transport network, and we are delighted that China Express has firmed up its order for six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft and will introduce the aircraft to China,” says Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
“Currently more than 100 Bombardier-produced commercial and business aircraft are operating in China and we look forward to welcoming many more operators in the country,” adds Arcamone.
“In our market forecast for 2012 to 2031 that was released on June 19 this year, Bombardier predicts a demand for approximately 2,200 commercial aircraft in the 60-to-149-seat segment in China,” says Andy Solem, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft’s vice president, sales, China and North Asia.
“We are working closely with local airlines, suppliers and stakeholders to assist in fleet and infrastructure expansion to support the development of China’s fleet of commercial aircraft as it grows to become the world’s second largest market for new aircraft deliveries, following closely behind the United States,” says Solem.
Including the order from China Express announced on July 7, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for 1,735 CRJ-series aircraft, including 274 CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen regional jets.
Worldwide, Bombardier CRJ-series aircraft are in service with more than 60 airlines and more than 30 customers operate corporate variants of the aircraft. The aircraft are operating in more than 50 countries on six continents, and on average, a CRJ aircraft takes off every 10 seconds somewhere in the world.
CRJ-series aircraft have transported more than 1.2 billion passengers and have logged more than 33 million flight hours and over 28 million take-offs and landings.