Air China Ltd., the largest Chinese carrier, will buy a mix of 60 current 737s and the new Max model of the jet from Boeing Co. with a list price of about $6 billion to expand seating capacity with more-efficient planes.

Deliveries will run from 2016 to 2020, according to Air China’s statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange today. Neither the airline nor Boeing gave details on the split between the existing 737 version and the Max with upgraded engines.

The purchase will boost Air China’s fleet capacity by about 8 percent by available metric-ton kilometer over December 2013, excluding adjustments to fleet structure such as the disposal of old aircraft, it said.

The actual payment will be less than the $5.9 billion July 2012 open-market aircraft basic price because Boeing granted price concessions, including credit memorandums, Air China said, without giving the exact cost. The Chinese carrier will pay cash in installments, using cash from operations, bank loans and unspecified financing instruments.

The planes are worth more than $6 billion at the current list prices, Boeing said in a separate statement today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bei Hu in Hong Kong at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at

Photo Credit: An Air China 737-800. boeingdreamscape / Wikimedia Commons