Kunming, 18th May 2018: SMBC Aviation Capital, the leading aircraft leasing company and Chinese airline, Ruili Airlines, have today announced that they have signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the placement of two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. This is the first commitment that Ruili Airlines has negotiated with an aircraft leasing company outside of China. The announcement was made at an event in Ruili City, China to celebrate the airline’s four-year anniversary.

The transaction will add a new customer to SMBC Aviation Capital’s portfolio. It also further strengthens SMBC Aviation Capital’s presence in the Chinese market and involves the placement of the two aircraft direct from its order book with the first aircraft set to deliver in 2019.

Headquartered in Kunming, Ruili Airlines is a full-service carrier providing domestic and international routes to destinations in China and across Southeast Asia. Equipped with CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements, delivering the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market, the new aircraft will support the expansion of the airline’s fleet and growth in the region.

Speaking on the announcement, Chairman of Jingcheng Group Co. LTD., Dong Le Cheng said, “We are pleased to partner with SMBC Aviation Capital, our first aircraft leasing relationship outside of China. We are looking to considerably expand our fleet in the coming years and these new aircraft will help achieve our target of adding 40 aircraft by 2021. These aircraft will help us achieve enhanced operational efficiency and our service experience as the Chinese market for air travel continues to grow.”

Peter Barrett, CEO, SMBC Aviation Capital said, “We look forward to building on our new relationship with Ruili Airlines with the placement of these two aircraft. China is a fast-growing market that is seeing increased demand for high-quality aircraft that offer the latest technology and this deal allows us to further extend our presence in the region.”