Air China plans to buy 45 Boeing 777 and 737 aircraft, reports the AP, a purchase the airline says will increase its capacity by about 35% and help reinforce Beijing's status as a transportation hub. The list price for the planes—one of China's biggest airliner purchases—is $6.3 billion, but the final price is expected to be lower.
Air travel in China is forecast to grow by 9% annually in coming years, driven by a boom that saw the country's economy grow by 10.6% in the first quarter. Air China's first-quarter profits jumped 147%, boosted by the travel boom and the rise of the yuan. Boeing has not confirmed the deal.