Hainan Airlines to buy 30 Boeing jets for $7.7bn

Mar 26, 2015, 1:01 PM EDT
A Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner aircraft operated by Scoot Pte., a unit of Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SIA), sits on the tarmac at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. Scoot today announced the delivery of the airline's first 787 Dreamliner.
Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hainan Airlines said on Wednesday it will purchase 30 Beoing B787-9 jets for as much as $7.7 billion. The airline said it plans to sign an agreement with the U.S. plane maker for 270-to-290 seat 787-9 Dreamliners for delivery by 2021 valued at as much as $7.7 billion at list prices, though customers regularly secure steep discounts, reports the Wall Street Journal. Hainan announced the pending deal in a regulatory filing. A Boeing spokesman said the company couldn’t comment on negotiations with its airline customers. The airline has taken delivery of nine of 10 Dreamliners it currently has on order, according to Boeing. The proposed deal is a boost for Boeing’s order book of Dreamliner jets, which after years of growth, plateaued as jets were only available in 2020 and beyond.
It would also boost the aircraft maker's 787 program backlog to 855 planes, notes Reuters. China's airline passengers are increasingly looking beyond the mainland for travel opportunities. In 2014, Chinese travelers made more than 100 million trips overseas in a year for the first time, up sharply from 8.4 million in 1998, official data show. Hainan Airlines added two long-haul routes to North America and Western Europe last year and plans major international expansion this year, Cai Zhiquan, a brand manager told Reuters. On Thursday. it reported net profit jumped 20 percent in 2014 to 2.59 billion yuan($417 million). "We'll be flying from major hubs in China to second- or third-tier cities overseas," said Cai. "At the same time, we'll also open up more routes from inland Chinese cities to major hub cities elsewhere."
It represents the biggest order this year for the jet, writes the Economic Times. The 787 is Boeing's most high-tech plane, with a carbon-composite fuselage and improved fuel efficiency. The 787-9 is a stretched version introduced last year that seats 280 passengers and has a range of 8,300 nautical miles.