Boeing Close to Deal with Chinese Airline for 30 Dreamliners Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Boeing Close to Deal with Chinese Airline for 30 Dreamliners

The 787-9 can carry up to 280 passengers for distances of almost 9,570 miles and analysts said Hainan Airlines will need the aircraft as it seeks to expand international routes.

SHANGHAI – China's Hainan Airlines said Thursday it is planning to buy 30 Dreamliner aircraft from U.S. giant Boeing (IW 500/13) -- worth almost $8 billion at list prices -- as it seeks to expand its long-haul service.

The 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners are due to be delivered before 2021, Hainan Airlines said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange, where it is listed.

The order would be valued at $7.7 billion based on list prices given on Boeing's website, although airlines typically negotiate discounts.   

Boeing could not be immediately reached for comment. 

The 787-9 can carry up to 280 passengers for distances of almost 9,570 miles and analysts said Hainan Airlines will need the aircraft as it seeks to expand international routes.

"They will need this for their long-haul flights," Li Xiaolu, a Shanghai-based analyst with Capital Securities, told Bloomberg News. "Because the deliveries are stretched over the next 10 years or so, this order isn’t as aggressive as it looks."

Hainan currently has 500 domestic and international routes reaching almost 90 destinations, including Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Moscow, according to its website.

It now plans to start services to Tel Aviv from Beijing, and to the U.S. cities of Boston and Seattle from Shanghai, according to Bloomberg News. 

The airline's net profit rose 20.04% year-on-year to 2.59 billion yuan in 2014, according to a separate statement on Thursday.

Hainan Airlines was down 3.74% in afternoon trading Thursday.

On Saturday, Hainan Airlines completed China's first commercial flight using biofuel with a Boeing 737 plane.

China is a key market for Boeing, which estimates the country will need 6,020 planes worth $870 billion through 2033.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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