Air China, the second-largest commercial airline of the country after China Southern Airlines, has placed an order for 20 Boeing 777-800 planes, at a cost of approximately $1.4 billion, as the airline expands its fleet capacity to meet growing demand.
The Beijing-based airline did not reveal how much it is paying for each aircraft but said the 20 planes would cost around $1.4 billion according to the list price. It, however, said that Boeing has offered "significant price concessions."
The planes, to be delivered by Boeing between 2013 and 2015, will strengthen its fleet capacity by 5 per cent, said the state-owned airline in a release.
Air China will fund the purchase through cash generated from business, bank loans and other financial instruments.
Currently, Air China has approximately 260 planes, most of it from Boeing, while a small number is from Airbus.
The airline flew 41.28 million passengers in 2009, with a passenger load factor of 76.53 per cent. It had a turnover of 51.39 billion yuan. The airline reported a 155 per cent jump in its net profit to 5 billion yuan ($736 million) compared with a net loss of 9 billion yuan in 2008 during the global economic downturn.