China Eastern Airlines has placed an order with Boeing for 20 B777-300ER twin-aisle aircraft.
The agreement still requires Chinese government approval, but is likely to be approved due to the on-going row between China and the EU over the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The CEO of Airbus’ parent company, Louis Gallois, recently revealed that Chinese airlines have been asked not to purchase large Airbus jets in retaliation for the ETS charges.
“China Eastern Airlines is a long-term valued customer of the Boeing Company. We are delighted that China Eastern has decided to add the 777-300ER to its expanding fleet,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Greater China and Korea. “This additional commitment from one of the largest airlines in the world is a testament to the benefits the 777-300ER brings to the airline and its passengers.”
The order marks the first time China Eastern has opted for a Boeing wide-body aircraft. The Shanghai-based carrier has previously preferred Airbus twin-aisle jets such as the Airbus A330 and A340. The recent ban on large Airbus jets however, appears to have benefitted Boeing. China Eastern also has outstanding orders for 45 single-aisle Boeing 737 aircraft.
China Eastern’s fleet currently comprises 298 aircraft, including 45 wide-body jets. Including this latest order, the airline now has outstanding orders for 159 aircraft.