Hong Kong-listed China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings has 75 Boeing 737 MAX jets on firm order with an option for 25 more
South China Morning Post / April 8, 2019
China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings (CALC) has put its order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX jets temporarily on hold, until it is assured of the aircraft’s safety.
The Hong Kong-listed lessor, controlled by the state-owned conglomerate China Everbright Group, placed an order for 50 aircraft in June 2017. CALC then increased it by another 25 in December with an option for 25 more as part of its plan to grow its overall fleet from 133 in 2018 to 232 by 2023.
According to the original schedule, the first MAX jet was expected to be delivered to CALC in the third quarter of this year and continue up to 2023.
“The purchase has been suspended and we have stopped paying the instalments,” said Chen Shuang, chairman of CALC and chief executive of China Everbright, the financial arm of China Everbright Group.
Chen did not elaborate on the payment being withheld. The order for the first 50 aircraft was valued at US$5.8 billion.
The MAX has been grounded by regulators around the world after two aircraft of the same type were involved in fatal crashes within five months of each other – one operated by Ethiopian Airlines on March 10 and another by Lion Air on October 29 – that claimed a total of 346 lives.
Last week, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it would set up a Joint Authorities Technical Review team to evaluate the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX. China’s aviation regulator has also invited to join the task force.
China was the first country to ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets.
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