China Eastern Airlines is in talks with Bombardier regarding an order for up to 30 Bombardier CRJs, according to Flight International's sister online news service, Air Transport Intelligence. The talks include 15 firm orders for 50-seat CRJ200s and five for 70-seat CRJ700s for delivery from September with five options for each type.

The deal would give Bombardier a lead over rivals Embraer and Fairchild Dornier as the biggest supplier of regional jets to the Chinese market.

China Eastern filed a request in December for government approval for up to 25 unspecified regional jets. Up to now Embraer was thought to be the favourite.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has been calling over the past year for airlines to add more regional aircraft to their fleets, with the aim of establishing a US-style "hub-and- spoke" domestic route network.

Source: Flight International