China’s privately-owned Okay Airways on Tuesday signed a commitment with Boeing to purchase 12 737 jets in a deal valued at $1.3 billion. The agreement, signed at the Singapore Airshow Wednesday, is subject to approval from the Chinese government and will be posted on the Boeing’s list of orders once the green light is given, the U.S. aircraft manufacturer said, in a statement.
“We greatly value the ties we have built over the years with Boeing,” Wang Shusheng, Okay Airways’ chairman, said, in the statement. “The Boeing Next-Generation 737 has been the mainstay of our fleet since we started operations. The introduction of additional 737s, including the new 737 MAX, will further modernize our fleet and ensure we operate the most efficient fleet well into the future.”
Currently, Okay Airways — China’s first private airline — has a fleet of 18 airplanes, and is seeking to expand to 80 by 2020. The commitment signed Tuesday marks the first 737 MAX 9 order by a Chinese airline, the company said.
Wang also said that the airline was mulling the purchase of wide-body aircraft, which would be used on longer routes in future. A decision on the wide-body aircraft purchase is expected later this year, according to media reports.
On Tuesday, Japan’s Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation signed a letter of intent with American leasing firm Aerolease Aviation to supply 10 planes on a firm basis, with an option to purchase 10 more. In a statement, Mitsubishi said that the deal, reportedly worth about $940 million, would be converted into a definitive contract in the “near future.”
“We recognize the significantly important role which aircraft lessors have been playing in the aviation industry. We are proud to add a lessor partner to our order book,” Hiromichi Morimoto, president of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, said, in the statement. “This LOI will not only bring a positive impact on the lessor community, but will also contribute to expanding our airline customer base.”