Sun, 03 Dec 2023

China Eastern Airlines to acquire 100 more COMAC C919 planes

Robert Besser
01 Oct 2023, 19:06 GMT+10

BEIJING, China: In a deal worth US$10 billion at list prices this week, state-owned carrier China Eastern Airlines announced that it will purchase another 100 C919 passenger planes.

The deal is the largest-ever order for the jet made by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).

Shanghai-based China Eastern said it had received a "substantial discount" for the deal, and the planes will be delivered in batches from 2024 to 2031.

The list price for the C919 is $99 million, but aircraft can be sold at discounts of up to 50 percent, especially for new models.

Developed by state-owned COMAC to rival Airbus SE's A320neo and Boeing Co's 737 MAX single-aisle jet families, the C919 took its first flight in May with China Eastern.

China Eastern will be the first carrier to deploy the C919 and has already bought five planes, of which three have been delivered. The other two are expected to be delivered later in 2023.

More than four years after they were halted following two deadly crashes, US rival Boeing is still waiting to resume deliveries of its bestselling 737 MAX to Chinese airlines.

Amid rising political and trade tensions between Beijing and Washington, Boeing has been unable to get new orders from Chinese carriers since 2017.

Li Hanming, an independent aviation industry analyst, said, "It is announced at the one-year anniversary of C919's receiving its type certificate. COMAC has made a good start in the delivery of C919 so far. Next, the plane manufacturer will cooperate with China Eastern more closely to show other potential users the reliability and performance of C919."

China Eastern said it would pay for the purchase in installments via its funds, bank loans, and bond issuance.

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