China Eastern orders 15 787-9s and 20 A350s

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China Eastern Airlines Airbus A350-900

China Eastern Airlines has finalised its order for 15 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 20 Airbus A350-900s.

The Boeing order, worth nearly $4 billion, will go with China Eastern’s Boeing 777s and increase the airline’s cargo payload on existing routes. The 787-9 has a fuselage six metres longer than the 787-8, and uses 20 per cent less fuel with 20 per cent fewer emissions than aircraft it replaces. China Eastern operates nearly 300 Airbus aircraft, consisting of A320s and A330s.

China Eastern Airlines chairman, Liu Shaoyong says: “We are very happy to introduce the new 787 Dreamliner into our long-haul fleet. 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 realise profits in point-to-point routes across the Pacific Ocean, and between China and Europe.”

Commenting on the Airbus order, Liu says: “The introduction of A350 XWB will play a very important role in promoting our operational capability, profitability and service brand on our international long haul routes and opening a new chapter in the international development of China Eastern Airlines.”

Boeing Commercial Airplanes senior vice president North East Asia sales, Ihssane Mounir says: “The combination of both the 777-300ER and 787-9 will provide the airline with market-leading economics as well as flexibility that will contribute significantly to their success operating long-haul flights to North America.”

To cater for growing demand, China Eastern has increased North American services to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Toronto, and has launched flights to Chicago, using Boeing 777-300ERs.