MIAMI — Jinan-based Shandong Airlines has placed an order for 50 Boeing 737 aircraft including 16 Boeing 737-800s and 34 Boeing 737 MAXs according to an update filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery between 2016 and 2020, and the order is worth $4.65 billion at list prices. The 737 MAXs in the order will be equipped with CFM International LEAP-1B engines
The deal will be financed through cash flow, bank loans, and other sources, and is aimed at increasing Shandong Airlines’ capacity to meet future demand. Shandong Airlines plans to more than double its fleet size to more than 140 aircraft by 2020. According to Airchive’s research, Shandong Airlines currently has 74 aircraft in its fleet, including 62 Boeing 737-800s, three Boeing 737-700s, two Boeing 737-300s, five Bombardier CRJ-100s, and two Bombardier CRJ-700s.
Shandong Airlines carried 14.0 million passengers in 2013, earning revenues of $1.87 billion and a net profit of $108.4 million according to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Shandong Provincial Government. Air China owns 22.8% of Shandong Airlines while Shandong Aviation Group, a conglomerate based in Jinan, holds a 42.0% stake.
The carrier currently serves more than 60 domestic destinations and 3 international ones from its hubs at Jinan, Yantai, Qingdao, Xiamen, and Beijing
Shandong Airlines is well positioned to take advantage of growing consumer affluence in Shandong Province, which is China’s ninth wealthiest (out of 31) province based on per-capita GDP.
Boeing announced that it had won orders for 200 MAX aircraft from China back in October of 2013, and it is unclear whether this Shandong Airlines order is part of that larger order. Airbus on the other hand, has stated that it has 100 commitments for the A320neo from Chinese customers.