China Southern Airlines has entered into an agreement with Comac to purchase 100 C919 narrowbodies, days after compatriot Air China placed an order for 100 examples. 

In a filing late on 29 April, the Guangzhou-based carrier said the deal is valued at $9.9 billion at list prices, but notes that it has been given “price concessions” for the purchase. 

Comac C919 during its first flight in 2017 c Creative Commons

Source: Creative Commons

“The board… is of the view that there is no material impact of the price concessions obtained in the purchase on the operating costs of the group,” states China Southern. 

The carrier says that the order will partly be funded by its own “internal resources”, as well as by “loans or other finance arrangement by banks or other institutions”. 

The new C919s will be delivered between 2024 and 2031, a similar timeline to that disclosed by its fellow ‘Big Three’ carrier. 

“The purchase of aircraft aligns with the strategy of our country and effectively meets the medium- to long-term fleet development needs of the company,” adds China Southern. 

It also believes that the domestic market demand for narrowbodies is showing “a significant upward trend”. 

On 26 April, Air China announced an order for 100 C919s, in a deal worth about $10.8 billion at list prices. It cited the “optimisation of fleet structure and long-term supplement of fleet capacity” among reasons for the order. 

Both China Southern and Air China are existing operators of Comac’s ARJ21 regional jet, and now join China Eastern as C919 customers. 

The Shanghai-based carrier became the programme’s launch customer when its first example entered commercial service in May 2023. 

Other Chinese operators to have signed for the C919 are Tibet Airlines – which placed an order at the Singapore air show this year – as well as Hainan Airlines units Suparna Airlines and Urumqi Air.