Chinese carrier Ruili Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-700 ordered directly from the manufacturer.
Ruili Airlines is a newly established, privately owned carrier based at Kunming Changshui International Airport (IATA code KMG), which serves Kunming, the capital city of China’s Yunnan province.
“This is a momentous step forward for Ruili Airlines as we continue to enhance our fleet,” said Ma Zhanwei, president of Ruili Airlines. “We hope that the competitive advantages offered by the 737 will enable us to grow from a start-up airline to a driving force in China’s aviation industry.”
The new Boeing 737-700 is the first of 14 Boeing 737-family jets which Ruili Airlines has ordered or on which it has secured commitments with Boeing. These aircraft include eight 737-700s and six 737 MAX aircraft.
Ruili Airlines currently operates two 737-700s and one Boeing 737-800, on a network of seven domestic routes in China.
To date, more than 1,200 Boeing 737-700 jets have been delivered, according to Boeing. A total of 1,368 have been ordered, according to consultancy group AirInsight.
Ruili Airlines obtained its public air transport enterprise business license from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in February, marking the formal establishment of the carrier.
The start-up airline is the first private carrier approved by CAAC after the regulator relaxed restrictions on new airlines in 2013.
According to its development plan, Ruili Airlines plans to increase its fleet to 30 Boeing jets by 2020, and to be operating around 120 daily flights on 60 to 70 routes.