China Southern Airlines will buy six 777 freighters in a move to sharply increase the carrier’s reach into the international cargo market.
The planes will be delivered starting in 2013, the airline based in the Southern China city of Guangzho, said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
The Boeing planes, which carry a total list purchase price of nearly $1.6 billion, will nearly double China Southern’s existing fleet of eight freighters, including two 747-400s and five 777s.
The order is the airline’s largest single step into the international cargo arena and comes as China Southern is undertaking a broad expansion of its overall fleet of 422 planes to 461 passenger and cargo aircraft.
China Southern said in its statement that it got “certain price concessions” from Boeing but did not disclose the sale price.
The order is the latest big purchase of the Boeing twin-engine, widebody. FedEx recently added four aircraft to its order of xx 777s and Lufthansa last month firmed up an order for five of the aircraft.