China Eastern orders 20 777s as 1Q profit plummets 73.7%

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Published: April 30, 2012

China Eastern Airlines (MU) placed an order for 20 Boeing 777-300ERs in an order worth $ 5.94 billion at list prices, according to the carrier’s statement released by Shanghai Stock Exchange. The deal must be approved by the Chinese government. The aircraft will be delivered between 2014 and 2018.

The Shanghai-based carrier said it will sell five Airbus A340-600s to Boeing in 2014 and 2015 as part of the 777 payment. The 777s will replace the A340s on international long-haul routes from Shanghai to New York and Los Angeles.

MU had planned to use the 787 to replace the A340s but due to the 787 delivery delays it cancelled the 787 orders and switched to 777s, according to an industry insider ( ATW Daily News, Oct. 18, 2011 ).

MU posted a first-quarter net income of CNY266.53 million ($ 42.2 million), down 73.7% compared to CNY1.01 billion in the year-ago period due to high fuel prices  and  the slowing of yuan appreciation.   

Operating revenue rose 6.42% to CNY19.32 billion against an increase of 12.5% in operating expenses to CNY19.57 billion. The carrier did not release traffic figures for the first quarter.

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