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China Eastern to add 56 new aircraft in 2013

China Eastern Airlines will be inducting 56 new aircraft into its fleet this year, the majority of which will be narrowbodies.

These include 22 Airbus A320s, 26 Boeing 737NGs and eight A330s. During the year, it will also dispose of 14 jets, including A320s, 737NGs and five unspecified freighters.

In 2014, the airline is scheduled to take delivery of a further 62 aircraft, mostly A320s and 737NGs, but also including four 777-300ERs.

These aircraft numbers could change, however, subject to future market conditions, the carrier said in a recent presentation to investors.

Last week, the Shanghai-based airline reported a 39% dip in its 2012 net profit to CNY2.81 billion ($452 million). It said that the global economic downturn, high fuel prices and strong competition among carriers on domestic routes have affected its business.

In the second half of 2013, the carrier, together with Qantas Airways, is also set to launch Jetstar Hong Kong. The low-cost carrier will begin operations with three A320s, with plans to grow to a fleet of 18 aircraft by 2015.

Flightglobal Pro data shows that China Eastern operates a fleet of 255 aircraft and has a further 117 on order.

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