China Eastern Airlines has finalized an order for 15 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, in a deal which Boeing values at nearly $4 billion at current list prices.
According to Boeing, China Eastern plans to operate its new 787-9s on routes linking China with North America and Europe, bolstering its competitiveness in the international long-haul market.
“The addition of these next-generation, fuel-efficient airplanes will play a key role in supporting China Eastern’s strategy for international expansion, and enable us to realize profits in point-to-point routes across the Pacific Ocean, and between China and Europe,” says Liu Shaoyong, chairman of China Eastern Airlines.
Because of growing air traffic demand, China Eastern plans to increase its service frequencies on its existing routes from Shanghai to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Toronto, as well as to newly launched destination, Chicago.
Today the airline operates these routes with 777-300ERs.
The 787 family has opened many new city-pair markets, with more than 100 new 787 non-stop routes already in service or announced.
According to Boeing, the 787 is also an effective tool to increase service frequency profitably.
For China Eastern, operating both the 777 and 787 will allow the airline to continue growing its international presence with more capacity and cargo payload on key existing frequencies, while also providing the flexibility for further expansion in high-growth markets, according to Boeing
Headquartered in Shanghai, China Eastern Airlines is one of the three major airlines in mainland China.
Flying a fleet of more than 560 long-haul and short-haul aircraft with an average age of less than seven years, China Eastern serves nearly 100 million travelers annually and ranks as the seventh-largest carrier in the world in terms of passenger numbers.
(Not in strict order of passenger volume, the top six are American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, China Southern Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Ryanair.)
More than 60 customers from six continents of the world have placed orders for more than 1,100 787s, making the 787 the fastest selling twin-aisle aircraft in Boeing history.
Including China Eastern’s April 28 order, the 787 has orders and commitments for nearly 100 aircraft from Chinese customers.
Two days before China Eastern’s Boeing 787-9 order, Boeing won a follow-on order from Chinese carrier XiamenAir for 10 more 737-800 narrowbody jets.
XiamenAir has now ordered and leased more than 150 737-800s, of which 109 are in service.
The vast bulk of the carrier’s all-Boeing fleet consists of 737-800s, XiamenAir also operating 17 737-700s, six 757-200s and six 787-8s and holding outstanding orders for 30 737 MAX 8s and four 787-9s.