China Eastern Airlines Buying 80 Boeing 737s

June 13--One of China's largest airlines, Shanghai-based China Eastern, announced Friday it will buy 80 of Boeing's popular single-aisle 737 aircraft.

That order, when contingencies are worked out, will be for a 60 of Boeing's upcoming 737 Max aircraft and 20 of its existing model, the 737 Next Generation.

The China Eastern Boeing order follows the airline's order for 70 Airbus A320 aircraft earlier this year.

When Boeing adds the China Eastern order to its official tally of 2014 orders, it will raise the net 737 orders for 2014 to 465 aircraft.

The China Eastern order is the largest order for the 737 ever made by a Chinese carrier.

The 737 is earning the lion's share of Boeing's commercial airplane orders this year. The plane maker has received just one order for a 747 this year, no orders for its 767, seven orders of the 777 and a single order for a 787 Dreamliner.

Chinese airlines are showing a large appetite for single-aisle aircraft such as the 737 and A320 this year.

Boeing has received commitments for 50 737s from Shandong Airlines and 50 orders from 9 Air this year for the 737.

Boeing builds all 737s at its Renton factory, which is producing the twin-engine planes at a record rate of 42 a month. That production rate is set to rise to 47 monthly in 2017.

Copyright 2014 - The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)