China Eastern commits to nearly $6b deal for 20 777-300ERs

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Only a month after cancelling orders for 24 Boeing 787s, China Eastern Airlines has committed to order 20 777-300ERs in a deal valued at $5.97 billion at list prices, the Chicago-based airframer announced today.

The SkyTeam carrier needs Chinese government approval before the 777 order is added to Boeing's backlog.

On 29 March, China Eastern announced a decision to convert orders for 24 787s into a deal for 45 737s.

Now the carrier plans to expand capacity with the ultra-long-haul 777-300ER widebody, which boasts a maximum range of 14,685km (7,930nm) with 365 passengers aboard, Boeing says.

If the transaction receives government approval, Boeing's orderbook to date for 777s would swell from four to 24. Meanwhile, the company has already added 415 aircraft to its net order total so far this year, of which 413 are for 737s. Other customers have ordered four 767s. The 787 programme has lost a net total of six orders since 1 January.