Shandong Airlines' board has approved plans to add nine Boeing 737-800s to the carrier's fleet this year to meet rising passenger numbers.

The airline will buy five of the 737s and lease the remaining four, the carrier says in a stock exchange statement.

The five aircraft are expected to cost the carrier about $400 million, while the leased ones will cost $22 million in rental annually.

Shandong Airlines plans to use internal resources and bank loans to finance the purchases and expects all nine aircraft to be delivered this year.

"The introduction of the aircraft will effectively enhance the company's operational capabilities and ongoing operational capacity," added Shandong Airlines.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news