8-Mar-2011 9:37 AM

China Eastern to expand fleet to 588; reduce debt ratio to 70% by 2015

China Eastern Airlines Chairman Liu Shaoyong stated the company plans to expand its fleet to 588 aircraft and reduce debt ratio to 70% during the 12th Five Year Plan from 2011 to 2015 (Shanghai Daily, 08-Mar-2011). The carrier's fleet is expected to comprise 531 passenger aircraft and 30 freighters by 2015. It also expects to increase passenger volume by 10.2% and turnover by 12.1% p/a during the five years. The airline will invest CNY2 billion (USD305 million) in information infrastructure, including online bookings and check-in services, by 2015 and plans to reduce its debt ratio from 85% to 70%. Mr Liu added that there is no timetable for the airline to introduce strategic investors.