|China Southern Airlines to buy 10 Boeing 787s|
GUANGZHOU: China Southern, one of the top three airlines in China, has recently ordered 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The first of the aircraft, each with a catalogue price of US$123 million, will be delivered in July 2008 ready for operation just before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the last in 2010.
Liu Mingqi, vice-president of China Southern, said that the deal will help improve the airline's network, safety and service.
The new aircraft are expected to lower the operation costs of the company and give it a competitive edge in foreign and domestic markets.
The Boeing 787 is said to use 20 per cent less fuel compared to similar aircraft and reduce maintenance costs by 15 per cent compared to Boeing 767 aircraft.
It can carry 223 passengers and is capable of lying of 15,700 kilometres non-stop.
Earlier this month, Xiamen Air, in which China Southern owns 60 per cent, signed contracts to buy three Boeing 787 aircraft.
China Southern has 252 aircraft, 177 of which, or 70 per cent, are supplied by Boeing.
Rob Laird, vice-president of China sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said that the aircraft maker appreciates its long-term ties with China Southern and its keenness to introduce new aircraft.
China Southern is the first airline in China to operate Boeing 777, 757 and 737 aircraft, Laird said.
China Southern is also the first airline in the country to purchase A380 aircraft, the largest aircraft made by Airbus.
On August 8, Boeing clinched deals with four other domestic airlines to supply 42 Boeing 787 aircraft.
Beijing-based Air China and Shanghai-based China Eastern signed contracts to buy 15 planes each; Shanghai Airlines, nine; and Xiamen Air, three.
Boeing estimates that China will become the world's second largest aviation market after the United States in 20 years and at least 2,300 aircraft will be needed by then.
China's fast growing civil aviation industry saw 121 million trips by air last year.