China Eastern Airlines announced on Thursday that it will purchase another 100 C919 planes in a transaction worth $10 billion at list prices, the largest order for the jet ever placed by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).
The state-owned carrier stated that it secured a “substantial discount” for the agreement and that the planes will be delivered in phases between 2024 and 2031. The C919 has a list price of $99 million, however planes can be sold at reductions of up to 50%, particularly for new versions.
The agreement comes five months before the Chinese passenger plane, designed by state-owned COMAC to compete with Airbus’ A320neo and Boeing’s (BA) 737 MAX single-aisle jet families, flew for the first time with China Eastern in May.
The Shanghai-based state-owned carrier is the C919’s first customer, having purchased five of the planes, three of which have been delivered. The other two are scheduled to arrive later this year.
More than four years after they were banned following two catastrophic disasters, Boeing is still waiting to resume delivery of its best-selling 737 MAX to Chinese airlines. Since 2017, the firm has been virtually cut out of new contracts from Chinese carriers because to escalating political and trade disputes between Beijing and Washington.
According to Li Hanming, an independent the aviation sector analyst, the sale was the result of a previous order of intent.
“It is announced at the one year anniversary of C919’s receiving its type certificate,” Li stated.
“COMAC has made a good start in terms of C919 delivery so far.” Following that, the plane maker will work more closely with China Eastern to demonstrate the dependability and performance of the C919 to other potential users.”
The new jets will be added to China Eastern’s fleet at an era when air travel is witnessing a significant comeback following three years of Covid limitations, and the airline needs to retire a great deal of its narrow-body planes due to their age.
The airline stated that the purchase would be paid for in installments using its own funds, bank loans, and bond issues.
China Eastern will receive five aircraft in 2024, followed by ten each year from 2025 through 2027. From 2028 through 2030, 15 C919s will be produced per year, with the final 20 planes delivered in 2031.
GallopAir, a new Brunei-based airline, announced last week that it has signed a letter of intent to buy 30 aircraft from China for a total of $2 billion. The agreement includes 15 orders for COMAC’s ARJ21 and 15 orders for the C919.