Shandong Airlines will be adding 15 Boeing 737-800 aircraft this year, replacing some of the older aircraft it will retire from its fleet.

To optimise the carrier's operational efficiency, Shandong has accelerated plans to retire its older 737-300s and Bombardier CRJ200s, the carrier said in a statement on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The carrier adds that some of the -800s will be bought, and others leased, although it did not give specific numbers.

Funding for the new aircraft will come from its operational capital and bank loans.

Earlier this year, the airline said it will dispose of five ageing CRJ200s because of its rising maintenance costs.

Last year, Shandong added nine -800s to its fleet to meet rising passenger numbers.

Flightglobal Pro data shows that Shandong operates a fleet of 65 737s, CRJ200s and CRJ700s. It also has six -800s and 10 Comac ARJ21s on order.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news