A new subsidiary of China's Juneyao Airlines has placed an order at Boeing Co. (BA) for 50 of the company's 737 and 737 MAX aircraft. The total value of the order at list prices is at between $3.8 billion and $5.5 billion.
The new airline, called 9 Air, is a low-cost carrier that Juneyao is setting up to take advantage of the swelling demand for low-cost domestic travel in China. The airline is expected to begin service later this year.
Boeing shipped a record 143 new planes to Chinese airlines last year and expects to deliver about the same number again this year. 9 Air is an all-Boeing operator, according to the company's statement.
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Demand for air travel has driven demand for new aircraft in China, where Boeing competitor Airbus believes demand for new planes will outstrip U.S. demand by 2032. China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. (CEA) ordered 70 Airbus A320s in March at a nominal contract price of $6.4 billion. The A320 is Airbus's direct competitor to the 737.
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Boeing's stock price was up 0.4% in premarket trading Wednesday, at $133.99 in a 52-week range of $94.70 to $144.57.