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CHONGQING, CHINA - Chinese regional airline operator China Express Airlines signed a deal with the country's commercial aircraft manufacturer COMAC to buy a total of 100 ARJ21 and C919 passenger aircraft.

The carrier did not provide details of the number of each model it wanted to buy, but said the two sides needed to hammer out the contractual details later on, a corporate filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange showed.

The planned purchases of the domestically-developed aircraft are a boost to state planemaker COMAC at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is devastating global travel demand, prompting many airlines to cancel or defer aircraft orders with top manufacturers Airbus and Boeing

China Express and COMAC will also deepen cooperation on aircraft design and optimization, maintenance and services, and overseas market expansion, especially in countries that have signed up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and African markets, the carrier said.

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