Airbus Group and Boeing split a $9.9 billion order for widebody jetliners from China Eastern Airlines as the nation’s second-largest carrier by passengers looks to expand international routes.
China Eastern ordered 20 Airbus A350-900 planes valued at $5.96 billion based on January 2014 list prices, it said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange Thursday. The airline also ordered 15 787-9 Boeing Dreamliners valued at $3.9 billion at July 2014 prices.
Accounting for discounts that carriers typically negotiate on aircraft purchases, the Airbus order is worth about $3 billion and the Boeing order is worth about $2 billion, based on pricing data from aircraft valuation firm Avita
Rapid growth of air travel in Asia is boosting orders for Boeing and Airbus, with China expected to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest aircraft market in the next two decades. Economic growth is making air travel affordable to more people, prompting carriers there to expand their fleets.
China Eastern currently operates flights to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Chicago with 777s and plans to increase frequencies on these routes this year as part of an effort to boost international capacity by about 20 percent.