China Southern orders six freighters
China Southern Airlines will boost its cargo fleet after signing a deal for a further six Boeing 777 freighters that are due for delivery between 2013 and 2015, the carrier said yesterday.
The Guangzhou-based airline did not disclose the purchase price of the aircraft, but pointed out the actual price 'was significantly lower' than the plane builder's catalogue price because of 'price concessions granted by Boeing'.
The aeroplane maker's sticker price for a 777 freighter is US$264 million, or US$1.58 billion for the six aircraft at list prices.
China Southern said the price concessions were 'in the form of credit memoranda which could be used to purchase the aircraft, spare parts, or any other goods or services from Boeing'. This could include pilot training or navigational services.
The airline already operates five 777-200 freighters which can carry up to 105 tonnes as far as Stockholm or Anchorage non-stop, according to the carrier. This followed an order placed in February 2007 that saw the first delivery in December 2009.
The most recent aircraft delivery took place last August when it allowed the airline to expand the cargo route network from Shanghai to Los Angeles.
As a result, the new aircraft will double the size of China Southern's existing 777 freighter fleet.
The airline also flies two 120-tonne capacity Boeing 747-400 freighters and an Airbus A300-600, which can carry about 45 tonnes.
No details of the new destinations to be served by the newly ordered aircraft were given, but China Southern Cargo already operates freighter services to Chicago, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Vienna.
The airline said the new aircraft would partly be financed from international resources and bank loans.