Juneyao Airlines, the Shanghai-based carrier, is moving ahead with its long-haul expansion plans, as it targets the launch of new routes to the US and Europe.
The airline has finalised its first ever twin-aisle aircraft order, with an agreement to purchase up to 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The deal includes five firm orders and options for a further five, with all 10 long-haul jets valued at a total of US$2.6 billion.
“Our strategic vision is to develop into an international airline that provides high quality service with an extended network, while ensuring excellent profitability,” explained Wang Junjin, chairman of Juneyao Airlines. “Today’s order is set to play a key role in our growing business in the years to come, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Boeing into the future.”
Launched in 2006, Juneyao Airlines has grown to become one of China’s largest private carriers. It currently operates domestic and short-haul international routes to destinations in Japan, South Korea and Thailand. But following the arrival of the new Dreamliners, it intends to open new routes to North America, Europe and Australia by 2020.
This marks Juneyao’s first Boeing order; at present the airline operates an all-Airbus fleet comprising almost 60 single-aisle A320 and A321 jets. These are all configured in a twin-cabin layout, but details of the Dreamliners’ configuration have not yet been revealed.
“We are pleased to welcome Juneyao Airlines as a new Boeing customer,” said Rick Anderson, Boeing’s vice president of sales for Northeast Asia. “This order is an endorsement of their confidence in the 787 Dreamliner, which is the first choice for many single-aisle operators to start wide-body operations.”
The 787-9 can typically seat 290 passengers in a two-class configuration and has a range of 14,140km, which allows it to fly non-stop from Shanghai to destinations on the east coast of the US, such as New York.