Shandong Airlines

Chinese carrier Shandong Airlines has agreed to purchase 50 Boeing 737 jets, worth $4.6bn at list prices, in a move to grow its fleet and facilitate future business expansion.

The order includes 16 Boeing 737-800 and 34 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and is pending approval from the Chinese Government.

Boeing was quoted by BBC as saying that it continues to work with Shandong Airlines and the Chinese Government to determine the best way to meet their requirement.

Based in eastern China, Shandong Airlines will start receiving aircraft in batches between 2016 and 2020.

Shandong Airlines chairman Ma Chongxian was quoted by the state-run news agency Xinhua as saying that that the airline aims to grow its fleet to more than 140 at the end of 2020, a surge of almost 100%.

At present, Shandong Airlines operates 74 passenger jets, including 67 Boeing 737 aircraft.

The Boeing 737 aircraft are a short to medium-range twinjet narrow-body jets; the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, based on the Boeing 737 Next Generation family, are fourth generation of the 737 family.

The 737 MAX is slated for first delivery in 2017.

As of December 2013, Boeing has 1,700 firm orders for the 737 MAX.

Image: Shandong Airlines Boeing 737-800. Photo: courtesy of Boeing Dreamscape.