December 22, 2014 / 11:30 AM / in 4 years

Air China signs deal to purchase 60 Boeing B737 aircraft

Chinese workers stand in front of an Air China Boeing B737 aircraft at Beijing Airport March 23, 2005. REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV

BEIJING (Reuters) - Air China Ltd (601111.SS), the country’s flag carrier, said Monday it signed an agreement to order 60 Boeing B737 planes for a total price of $5.9 billion.

The aircraft are to be delivered between 2016 and 2020 per the agreement, which was disclosed Monday in a Air China regulatory filing.

The order comes four months after Boeing Co (BA.N) won an order for 80 737 planes from Singapore-based BOC Aviation.

Boeing said in September it expects China to need more than 6,020 aircraft in the next 20 years, an 8 percent rise over last year’s two-decade estimate, as growing overseas leisure travel drives demand.

That same month Boeing delivered the first of seven 747-8 Intercontinental jumbo jets to Air China, which was one of the few carriers to order the fuel efficient aircraft.

Reporting by Twinnie Su and Gerry Shih, editing by Louise Heavens

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