Computer rendering of a CRJ900 in China Express Airlines livery. Courtesy, Bombardier

China Express Airlines (G5) was revealed as the previously unidentified Chinese customer for six Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft (ATW Daily News, Oct. 31, 2011).

The conditional order for six CRJ900s, plus five options, will build upon G5’s existing fleet of five CRJ200s. The order is valued at approximately $264 million. If all five options are converted, the value would increase to $491 million, Bombardier said.

The disclosure was one of several announcements made at the Canada China Business Forum held Wednesday in Beijing, with Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and Bombardier president and CEO Pierre Beaudoin in attendance.

“Our 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets have served us very well since we started operations in 2006, and we are confident that the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, which offers excellent economics, will support the growing capacity demand on our larger routes,” said G5 chairman Hu Xiaojun.

G5, which is China’s first private regional airline, is based in Guiyang, Guizhou.