China Eastern Airlines announced Monday that it had ordered 15 Airbus 330 widebody aircraft with a list price of $2.5 billion (1.8 billion euros), and the resale of five bigger A340 aircraft.
"The aircraft will primarily be used to satisfy the increasing demand of the domestic passenger air transportation ... and to increase the companys competitiveness in the passenger air transportation market," China Eastern Airlines said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines, one of the country's three major carriers, noted that it had received rebates on the price of the aircraft, which it did not disclose.
The purchase of the A330 aircraft will be made in cash in installments and the resale of the A340 planes, taken to reduce operating costs, will be made in stages next year.
Airbus declined to comment on the transaction.
China Eastern Airlines also said it had foregone an order for 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in favour of 45 737NG planes for a similar total price, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
Following the delays in delivery of the ultra-modern Dreamliners the two companies agreed to substitute the aircraft, and Boeing is to pay a certain amount of indemnity to China Eastern, the airline said.
(c) 2011 AFP
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