Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines has split a multi-billion order for long-haul aircraft between Airbus and Boeing. The U.S. manufacturer has confirmed an order for 15 787-9s, valued at nearly $4bn at current list prices. In parallel, Bloomberg reports that the airline said it was ordering 20 A350-900s in a filing with the Shanghai stock exchange. The Airbus order would be worth almost $6bn at list prices.
China Eastern plans to operate the 787-9s on routes between China, North America and Europe. With growing air traffic demand, the carrier plans to increase frequencies on existing routes from Shanghai to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Toronto, as well as their newly launched destination, Chicago. The routes are currently operated by the 777-300ER.
As the new aircraft arrive, between 2018 and 2022, the carrier will phase out older A330s and Boeing 767s.
Headquartered in Shanghai, China Eastern Airlines is one of the three major airlines in mainland China and the 7th largest worldwide, based on passenger traffic.