18 JULY 2016
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Chinese regional carrier Ruili Airlines last week signalled the launch of long-haul international service when it finalised an order at Farnborough for six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at US$1.59bn at current list prices.
Ruili first announced it intended to buy the aircraft – the first wide-body order for the Yunnan-based carrier – in May at the ceremony for the airline's two-year anniversary.
Chairman Ma Zhanwei said Yunnan was the ideal base from which to create a gateway between south-west China and the rest of the world. The 787-9’s size, long range, competitive fuel efficiency and passenger appeal made it “an ideal fit” in facilitating the airline’s international expansion plans, he added.
Established in February 2014, Ruili operates a fleet of nine B737s on 16 domestic routes, with 46 daily departures. Its first service, between Kunming and Mang City, was launched on 18 May 2014.
The carrier, which in mid-2015, signed an agreement to buy and lease 60 B737 MAX, says it plans to expand its fleet to 70 aircraft by the end of 2025.
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