Boeing and China Eastern Airlines finalized an order for 15 Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on April 28th. The order is valued at list prices of $4 billion.
“We are very happy to introduce the new 787 Dreamliners into our long-haul fleet,” said China Eastern Airlines Chairman Liu Shaoyong. “The addition of these next-generation, fuel-efficient airplanes will play a key role in supporting China Eastern’s strategy for international expansion, and enable us to realize profits in point-to-point routes across the Pacific Ocean, and between China and Europe.”
China Eastern plans to operate the new 787-9s on routes between China, North America and Europe, bolstering its competitiveness in the international long-haul market.
With growing air traffic demand, the carrier plans to increase frequencies on existing routes from Shanghai to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Toronto, as well as their newly launched destination, Chicago. The routes are currently operated by the airline’s flagship 777-300ER airplane.
“China Eastern has been a long-standing Boeing customer and we are honored that the passenger-preferred 787 Dreamliner will join their world-class fleet,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president, Northeast Asia Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The combination of both the 777-300ER and 787-9 will provide the airline with market-leading economics as well as flexibility that will contribute significantly to their success operating long-haul flights to North America.”
The 787 family has proven to be an unmatched market opener, with more than 100 new nonstop routes already in service or announced, as well as an effective tool to increase frequency profitably, often in conjunction with the 777.
For China Eastern, operating both the 777 and 787 will allow the airline to continue growing its international presence with more capacity and cargo payload on key existing frequencies, while also providing the flexibility for further expansion in high-growth markets.