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Hainan Airlines slashes jet order

HAINAN Airlines will cut its order of 50 Embraer jets by half due to the shortage of pilots and weak demand during the financial crisis.

Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Co Ltd, a joint venture by Hafei Aviation Industry Co Ltd and Brazil-based Embraer, will deliver 25 ERJ145 regional jets to the Hainan carrier by 2011, according to their new contract.

The venture signed a US$1.1-billion contract with Hainan Air in 2006 to deliver 50 ERJ145 regional jets by the end of 2010, and the jet marker had already delivered 12 jets by March 2009.

"The financial turmoil and shortage of pilots made the two sides adjust the previous contract," Hafei, which holds a 24.5-percent stake in the venture, said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange today.

China's aviation regulator has unveiled several stimulus measures in a move to boost struggling domestic carriers, including urging them to cancel or postpone plane deliveries and park unnecessary planes, retire old ones and return aircraft leased from overseas.

China Eastern Airlines said on Monday that it would sell two Airbus jets for a total of 590 million yuan ($US86.4 million) and lease them back to boost its cash flow.


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