Ruili Airlines has committed to purchase 30 Boeing 737 Max jets with financial support from AVIC International Leasing, the airframer confirms.

The deal is subject to approval by the Chinese government, adds Boeing.

"Today's agreement demonstrates our ambition to grow from a start-up airline to a driving force in China's growing aviation industry," says Ruili president Ma Zhanwei.

Flightglobal's Ascend Fleets database shows that Ruili operates five 737s. These comprise four -700s and one -800, and the airline has signed letters of intent to take an additional six each of these two models.

Ruili operates 34 daily flights on 11 scheduled routes, notes Boeing, adding: "According to its development plan, the start-up carrier will expand its fleet to seven aircraft by the end of this year and 26 by 2020."

After the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) relaxed restrictions on new carriers in 2013, Ruili in February 2014 became the first private airline to gain the regulator's approval, recalls Boeing.

Source: Cirium Dashboard