Chinese airline to get eight Dreamliners
Beijing: The China Southern Airlines will receive eight Dreamliners, becoming the first airline in the country to use the Boeing 787 plane after the local aviation regulator gave the approval for the aircraft.
The Guangzhou-based carrier will take delivery of up to eight B787-8s this year, with the first expected by early next month.
Air China, the country's leading carrier, and its subsidiary Shenzhen Airlines yesterday signed deals to buy a total of 100 Airbus 320-series planes for USD 8.85 billion.
The much-delayed Dreamliner delivery was due to incidents stemming from the over-heating of the aircraft's lithium battery.
All 50 787s delivered worldwide were pulled out from operations and the aircraft's production suspended.
"We will deploy the Dreamliner on the Beijing-Guangzhou route for a soft launch before expanding to other domestic destinations," the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday.
The carrier will put the wide-bodied airliner on international services three months after plying mainland routes.
China Southern has ordered 10 of the jets, as did its smaller counterpart Hainan Airlines.
It is understood that Hainan Air will take delivery of the first 787 in the middle of next month, with plans for three more by the end of the year.
Air China, which has ordered 15 of the aircraft, will not take delivery of the first plane until 2016.
Boeing resumed deliveries of the 787 this month after the United States Federal Aviation Administration cleared the plane's return to commercial service on April 19, three months after it was grounded.