China’s Joy Air has signed an order for 30 Xian Aircraft MA60 turboprops, according to Chinese media reports.
The deal also includes options for an additional 30 MA60s. Delivery is scheduled to start from 2015, the reports add.
Joy Air and AVIC were both unavailable for confirmation at the time of publishing.
If confirmed, this would be the MA60’s largest order ever.
Joy Air is owned by AVIC Group and China Eastern Airlines. The only type it operates is the MA60. Started in 2009, the carrier operates scheduled domestic services from Xian, connecting with China Eastern's trunk network.
Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database shows that Joy Air has seven MA60s in operation and an additional one turboprop in storage. It also has 10 ARJ21s and 20 Comac C919 narrowbodies on order.
The database also shows that there are 55 MA60s in service worldwide, with 24 examples in storage.
The MA60 has largely been sold to airline customers in developing countries in Asia and Africa, and has had a significant number of safety issues.