China Express Airlines has signed a partnership agreement framework with Comac for the purchase of 100 ARJ21 and C919 aircraft. 

The deal, subject to shareholder approval, did not specify how many of either aircraft type the Guizhou-based carrier will be taking, nor did it indicate a value. 

However China Express discloses that it “plans to introduce” the aircraft from this year. Details on the contractural agreement will be worked out by both parties in the coming months, it adds. 

Comac and China Express will also cooperate on other areas such as aircraft design, maintenance, as well as market development. 

The order provides a post-coronavirus outbreak filip for the Chinese airframer, which is now working to get the C919 narrowbody into service, following earlier production delays. It also comes amid a growing list of carriers cancelling or deferring orders with Comac’s global rivals Airbus and Boeing. 

Cirium fleets data indicates there are 26 ARJ21s in operation. Comac has 328 orders for the regional aircraft, with another 305 orders for the C919. 

China Express operates a fleet of 11 A320ceos and 38 CRJ900s, with another three CRJ200s in storage. It also has one A320neos on order.