China Eastern Airlines buys 15 Airbus 330

Updated: 2011-10-18 18:56


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SHANGHAI - China Eastern Airlines on Tuesday said it had ordered 15 Airbus 330 aircraft to boost the company's fleet for mid-and long-range routes.

The purchase cost $2.5 billion and the aircraft will be delivered from 2013 to 2015, the Shanghai-based company said in a statement, adding that the new aircraft are estimated to increase the airline's carrying capacity by 9.41 percent.

China Eastern said it also signed a deal with Airbus to resell five larger A340 aircraft to cut operational costs. The A340 planes will be delivered to Airbus in 2012.

China Eastern, one of China's three major state carriers, made a net profit of 5.38 billion yuan ($807 million) in 2010, up from 711 million yuan in 2009. Its fleet of 355 aircraft carried almost 65 million passengers among 182 domestic and international destinations last year.

It aims to become a world-class airline by 2015 and to operate a fleet of 561 aircraft by then, the company's chairman Liu Shaoyong told Xinhua in a previous interview.