Boeing Co. reached an agreement to sell 20 long-range 777 jets, the planemaker’s most-profitable model, to China Eastern Airlines Corp. in a deal with a list value of about $6 billion.
China Eastern’s board approved the purchase along with the sale of five Airbus SAS A340 four-engine planes, according to a filing today with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Both transactions are subject to ratification by shareholders, said China Eastern, the country’s second-biggest airline.
Chinese airlines have become large customers for Boeing and Airbus as the nation’s economic growth spurs travel demand. The country will probably order 5,000 planes in the 20 years ending 2030, according to a forecast from Chicago-based Boeing.
A Boeing spokesman, Miles Kotay, said the purchase requires approval from the Chinese government, and the planemaker won’t post it as an order until regulators act. China Eastern didn’t release terms on the acquisition of the 20 twin-engine planes, and airlines typically buy at a discount to list prices.
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