China Southern Airlines bought four new Airbus A330-200 aircraft in September. However, Boeing was the big winner in China last month. Shandong Airlines said it plans to buy 15 Boeing 737s to upgrade its fleet and expand routes. The airline's general manager said that his airline had secured delivery slots for the aircraft and the purchase would be completed as soon as the government had granted approval. It would be financed by the sale of a 22.8 per cent stake in the airline to Air China. Shandong Airlines currently has a fleet of 30 aircraft, which it wants to expand to 40 by 2007.
The airline says it is recovering from the drop in passengers during the Sars crisis; it is now filling more than 70 per cent of its seats. Having made a loss in the first half of 2003, it expects to make a profit for the full year.
Boeing has also been chosen by Shanghai Airlines, which plans to buy five 757- 200 aircraft over the next two years, Shanghai Securities Newssaid. The company also intends to order five ARJ21s, a 70-90-seater aircraft being developed in China, for delivery in 2008 and 2009. The news was announced after the carrier said in July that it would sell two aircraft after suffering a second- quarter loss due to Sars. The Boeing purchase will be funded in part by the proceeds of its initial public offering last year.