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Airlines seal US$10b order
Date:2011/3/9      View:1309
Two Chinese airlines yesterday announced an order for a total of 43 aircraft worth a combined US$10 billion from Boeing Co as they expand their fleets to cement their presence in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region.

In a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Beijing-based Air China, the country's flagship international carrier, will buy five Boeing 747-8 intercontinental jets at a list price of US$1.54 billion although the actual price may be lower after discounts. The jets, to be delivered in 2014 and 2015, will be used to improve its international services.

"The technologically advanced B747-8 Intercontinental will deliver improved operating economics, efficiency and environmental performance in support of Air China's continued growth," said Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales & Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Kong Dong, chairman of Air China, said last week the carrier plans to issue 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) worth of short-term bonds this year to help expand fleet size. Air China plans to grow its fleet from 430 jets to more than 700 by 2015. The airline is looking to expand passenger volume by an annual 12 percent this year.

Also yesterday, Hong Kong Airlines, a subsidiary of HNA Group, China's fourth-largest aviation group, signed a memorandum of understanding with Boeing for 38 jets comprising 32 B787 and six B777 planes. The deal is worth US$8.5 billion at list prices.

Boeing's rival Airbus on Monday forecast that Asia-Pacific airlines may take delivery of around 8,560 new aircraft valued at US$1.2 trillion over the next 20 years.
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