Shanghai-based carrier Juneyao Airlines will be getting its first Boeing aircraft following the finalisation of an order for five B787-9 Dreamliners valued at US$1.32 billion. The new aircraft also constitute Juneyao’s first wide-body aircraft order to date, which also includes an option for five additional Dreamliners.

The order comes as Juneyao looks to expand its long-haul network to destinations in North America, Europe and Australia by 2020. Speaking about the deal, the airline’s chairman Wang Junjin, said: “Our strategic vision is to develop into an international airline that provides high-quality service with an extended network, while ensuring excellent profitability. Today’s order is set to play a key role in our growing business in the years to come, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Boeing into the future.”

The B787-9 Dreamliner offers improved fuel efficiency over older aircraft along with cabin features designed to enhance passenger comfort. These include dimmable lights, higher humidity, lower cabin altitude and a smoother ride.

Juneyao is a relatively young airline, having begun operation in 2006. In October last year, it joined Star Alliance as a Connecting Partner with the agreement set to come into effect in the second quarter of this year. The carrier currently flies domestically and to short-haul international destinations in Japan, South Korea and Thailand.