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An In-Depth Analysis of China Eastern Airlines’ Fleet in 2023
China Eastern Airlines, a leading global airline, operates an extensive network from its primary hubs at Shanghai’s Hongqiao (SHA) and Pudong (PVG) airports, as well as numerous secondary bases across China. With a fleet size that ranks among the world’s largest, the airline boasts 639 aircraft, according to data from ch-aviation.com. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the various aircraft types that make up China Eastern Airlines’ fleet.
China Eastern Airlines has a strong affinity for Airbus widebody aircraft, particularly the A330 series. The airline currently operates 55 A330s, divided between 30 A330-200s and 25 A330-300s. These aircraft have average ages of 10.4 and 8.9 years, respectively.
In addition to the A330s, the airline also operates 18 next-generation A350-900 models, which have an impressively low average age of 2.8 years. Furthermore, the airline has placed orders for two additional A350-900s, signaling its commitment to modernizing its fleet.
On the Boeing front, China Eastern Airlines operates aircraft from two widebody families. The airline has 20 Boeing 777-300ERs with an average age of 7.6 years. Additionally, it operates three Boeing 787-9s, averaging 3.8 years in age, and has seven more on order.
The Airbus A320 family constitutes a substantial portion of China Eastern’s narrowbody fleet, making up nearly 60% of the total fleet. The airline operates 35 A319-100s, 166 A320-200s, 104 A320neos, and 77 A321-200s. With pending orders for 38 more A320neos and 68 A321neos, this segment is poised for growth.
The Boeing 737 family plays a significant role in China Eastern Airlines’ narrowbody fleet. Despite grounding its 737-800s last year due to a fatal accident, the airline has successfully reactivated all 102 units, which have an average age of 8.2 years. The airline also operates 37 Boeing 737-700s with an average age of 11.9 years and has recently incorporated the next-generation Boeing 737 MAX 8, with three units in service and seven more on order.
China Eastern Airlines also operates a selection of domestically produced aircraft. The airline has 17 COMAC ARJ21-700s, which are relatively new, with an average age of 1.5 years. These aircraft are operated by OTT Airlines, a subsidiary of China Eastern. Additionally, the airline has recently begun incorporating COMAC C919s into its fleet, with three more units on order.
China Eastern Airlines’ diverse and extensive fleet is a testament to its strategic planning and commitment to offering a wide range of services. With a balanced mix of widebody and narrowbody aircraft from both Airbus and Boeing, as well as a growing number of domestically-produced aircraft, the airline is well-positioned for future growth and expansion.
The airline’s focus on modernizing its fleet, especially with the next-generation Airbus and Boeing models, is a prudent move that will likely yield operational efficiencies and enhance passenger experience in the long run.
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