New Pilots

China Eastern To Buy 15 Airbus A330 Widebodies

2015 08 17

China Eastern Airlines plans to acquire 15 Airbus A330s for about USD$3.6 billion to meet booming demand for air travel.

Airbus is scheduled to deliver seven A330s in 2017 and a further eight in 2018, China Eastern Airlines said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange.

"The company is purchasing 15 Airbus A330 planes to help to replace older planes that will retire over the next few years. It will also help to meet rising passenger demand for mid and long routes," China Eastern said.

In a separate statement, China Eastern reported first-half net profit up sharply to CNY3.56 billion yuan (USD$557 million) from only CNY15 million yuan a year earlier, citing lower fuel prices and strong travel demand.

China will be the world's largest air passenger market by 2034, according to IATA, attracting interest from foreign airlines.

Delta Air Lines is poised to become the first US carrier to own part of a Chinese peer, announcing plans last month to buy a 3.55 percent stake in China Eastern for USD$450 million and gaining an "observer" seat on its board.

China Eastern Airlines

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