Juneyao Air (HO, Shanghai Hongqiao) has taken delivery of its seventh B787-9, the first of the type to be handed over to a Chinese carrier in four years. The delivery is raising hopes the government may also allow deliveries of the B737 MAX to resume.

B787-9 B-20EQ (msn 65431) departed Everett on December 21, 2023, for the ferry flight to Shanghai Pudong. Boeing has confirmed the delivery to the customer. Juneyao Air already operates six of the type, with the last delivered in November 2019. Excluding B-20EQ, the airline has three more B787-9s on order. B-20EQ began commercial operations for Juneyao Air on December 26, flying four sectors including Shanghai Hongqiao - Sanya - Shanghai Hongqiao, and Shanghai Hongqiao - Sanya - Shanghai Hongqiao. A spokesperson for the airline told ch-aviation that they expect the remaining three B787-9s to arrive during 2024.

ch-aviation fleets data suggests twenty-eight B787-9s are awaiting delivery to Chinese customers, including six to Ruili Airlines, five to Okay Airways, three to China Southern Airlines, seven to China Eastern Airlines, one each to Air China and Suparna Airlines, and the aforementioned three to Juneyao Air.

Outlets cite analysts who interpret the latest delivery as a sign that the Chinese government is about to ease its Boeing delivery freeze, including for the B737 MAX, for which Chinese customers have a combined 255 on order and undelivered.

Juneyao Air flies to 85 destinations in 12 countries. In addition to its B787-9s, the carrier operates thirty one A320-200s, eighteen A320-200Ns, twenty-seven A321-200s, and eleven A321-200Ns. The B787-9s primarily operate within China but also work scheduled services to Helsinki Vantaa, Singapore Changi, and Milan Malpensa.