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China Eastern signs for 35 A350s and 787-9s

China Eastern Airlines has signed for 20 Airbus A350-900s and 15 Boeing 787-9s as part of a long-haul fleet modernisation programme.

The airline says, in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange, that it is taking delivery of the A350s in batches from 2018 to 2022.

All the A350s are exclusively powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

Two aircraft will arrive in 2018, three in 2019, and two in 2020 before the remaining 13 are introduced in 2021-22.

China Eastern adds that it will receive the 787-9s over the period from 2018 to 2021. It has not given an engine selection for the Boeing jets.

Four 787s will be delivered in 2018, followed by six in 2019, and the other five in 2020-21.

The long-haul renewal restores a commitment to the 787 lost in 2011 when China Eastern ditched a 787 order in favour of the 737.

As part of the fleet upgrade programme the carrier is to withdraw 12 Airbus A330s and six Boeing 767s from service.

It values the A350 deal at just under $6 billion and the 787 agreement at $3.9 billion, but says that the airframers have granted significant concessions.

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