Bombardier Aerospace grows slowly but so far steadily on the expanding Chinese regional market. The sole airliner of the world’s most populated country flying only to regional destination, China Express Airlines, has placed a firm order for three CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, is negotiating five more and eyes another eight.
China Express, based in Guiyang, Guizhou, currently flies five CRJ200 aircraft and six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. In 2012 the airline became the first to operate the CRJ900 aircraft in China. Based on the list price for the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately US$ 134 million.
Should the conditional agreements for five CRJ900 NextGen and options on the additional eight CRJ900 NextGen aircraft be converted to firm orders, the value of the contract would increase to 733 million American dollars. China Express wants to cover 60 percent of the regional cities of China, with 90 routes, by 2016.
In total about 140 Bombardier aircraft fly in China, comprised of CRJ- and Q-series, Learjets and Challengers. As of 30 September 2013 Bombardier had recorded firm orders for 1,779 CRJ Series aircraft, including 306 CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. Worldwide, CRJ Series aircraft are in service with more than 60 airlines and more than 30 customers operate corporate variants of the aircraft.
The aircraft are operating in over 50 countries on six continents, and on average, a CRJ aircraft takes off every 10 seconds somewhere in the world. CRJ Series aircraft have transported more than 1.4 billion passengers and have logged more than 38 million flight hours and over 32 million takeoffs and landings.