26-Nov-2012 9:17 AM

China Eastern Airlines to acquire 60 A320 aircraft, divest eight Canadair and 10 Embraer aircraft

China Eastern Airlines placed (23-Nov-2012) an order for 60 A320 aircraft from Airbus, worth USD5.4 billion at list prices (although the carrier said it received a "substantial" discount on this list price). The carrier expects to take delivery of the aircraft in stages between 2014-2017, with the purchase to be funded through working capital, commercial bank loans and other sources. "The Airbus aircraft will primarily be used to satisfy the increasing demand for domestic medium and short-haul passenger air transportation routes," the airline said, adding: "The purchase of the Airbus aircraft will further strengthen the company's competitiveness in the domestic civil aviation market and increase its operational capacity in domestic routes of the company." The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. China Eastern Airlines also said it has agreed to sell 18 regional jets, including 10 Embraer and eight Canadair aircraft, to Airbus as part of efforts to streamline its fleet. The 18 jets, valued at CNY1.54 billion (USD247 million), have an average usage of around 8.2 years. They will be delivered to Airbus from 2014 to 2016. "The disposal of the regional jets will streamline the aircraft models operated by the company, optimise the fleet structure of the company and lower the unit operation costs of the company," China Eastern Airlines said. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

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