China’s Shandong Airlines Co. Ltd. will purchase 50 Boeing 737s for a total of $4.6 billion, according to a company statement released on Monday. The deal includes 16 of Boeing’s 737-800 model and 34 of its 737 MAX model, to be delivered between 2016 and 2020.

Shandong Airlines currently operates a fleet of 74 airplanes, of which more than 90 percent are 737. According to Shandong Airlines Chairman Ma Chongxian, the company plans to increase its total fleet to 140 by the end of 2020.

If approved by the Chinese government, this will be the second major aircraft purchase approved this year. In March, China’s central purchasing agency approved a 10-year agreement with Boeing’s main competitor Airbus for 43 A320 jets and 27 A330 jets that totaled $10.2 billion.

Posted by Catherine Matacic