[photopress:air_china_southern_B737_700_1.JPG,full,alignright]China Southern Airlines, the country’s biggest carrier, has agreed to buy 55 more Boeing planes to enlarge its fleet and replace old aircraft. (Our illustration is of a model plane, not a real one although in the right colors.)
The new Boeing B737-700 and B737-800 planes are scheduled for delivery between May 2011 and October 2013. China Southern is adding aircraft in part to replace aging planes to improve its competitiveness.
China’s air-passenger numbers rose 17% in the first half and it is to be expected that passengers will soon be demanding a better inflight – as well as a better onground – service. As it stands there is some way to go in these areas.
At catalog rates, the planes would cost more than $3 billion, according to calculations by the Bloomberg news service.
China Southern will pay ‘significantly lower’ prices although what those prices will be has not been stated.
The acquisition will be funded partly in cash through internal sources and partly through loans to be obtained from commercial banks, it said.
China Southern has acquired 37 Boeing B737-800 planes, six Boeing B777F freighters and 20 Airbus A320 series planes in the last 12 months.
Source: Chicago Tribune
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