Okay Airways, the Tianjin-based airline, has moved to expand its operations with the placement of orders for 20 Boeing aircraft.
The airline, which operates both domestic and international flights, used this week’s Paris Air Show to place a new order for 15 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, valued at US$1.8 billion at current list prices.
The order consists of seven 737 MAX 8s and eight 737 MAX 10s, making Okay Airways the first Chinese carrier to commit to the 737 MAX 10 – the newest and largest version of the 737 MAX series, which was launched by Boeing in Paris this week.
Okay Airways has also signed a memorandum of understanding for five 787-9 Dreamliners, worth approximately US$1.3bn.
“We are committed to investing in our aircraft fleet in order to keep growing ahead of the market and enhancing our customers’ flying experience,” said Wang Shusheng, chairman of Okay Airways. “These new airplanes are expected to deliver extraordinary efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in their segment market, making them very compelling for us in our fleet growth and network expansion.”
Headquartered in Beijing but with its main operating base at Tianjin’s Binhai International Airport, Okay Airways operates an all-Boeing passenger fleet that currently includes 17 177-seat 737-800s and four 200-seat 737-900ERs. The new 737 MAX 8s will have a similar capacity as the 737-800s, but the new 737 MAX 10 promises the highest capacity of any Boeing single-aisle jet, seating a maximum of 230 passengers in an all-economy class layout. It is due to enter service before the end of 2020.
The 787-9s will become Okay Airways’ first twin-aisle aircraft, enabling the carrier to launch long-haul flights.
At present, Okay Airways flies to approximately 50 destinations in China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Indonesia.
Ray Conner, vice chairman of Boeing, said he looks forward to helping Okay Airways achieve its “ambitious growth plans”.