Guangzhou (China):China’s Jiuyuan Airlines signed a deal with the Boeing Company to purchase 50 aircraft worth more than $6 billion.

The deal, signed Wednesday, is the largest purchase ever by a private Chinese airline.

The aircraft are expected to begin operations by 2020, reported Xinhua.

Jiuyuan Airlines, based in Guangzhou, China, got approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in February and is expected to begin flights later this year. The budget carrier plans fares  as low as $1.46.

Boeing has sold more than 1,000 aircraft to China in the past 40 years and will sell another 1,000 in the next six to seven years, Xinhua quoted Ian Thomas, president of Boeing China.

China will need almost 6,000 more planes worth more than $780 billion over the next 20 years, he added.

Jiuyuan Airlines is jointly owned by the Shanghai Juneyao Airlines Co. Ltd., Elion Resources Group Limited Company, Xinhualian Holding Co. Ltd. and Juneyao’s Ji Guangping with a registered capital of $96.37 million, according to the Shanghai Juneyao website.

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