Airbus Inks Orders for 292 A320neos with Chinese Airlines

 - July 1, 2022, 10:21 AM
China Southern Airlines operated more than 300 A320-family aircraft as of February, including three A319neos. (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus said Friday that it has signed agreements with Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, and Shenzhen Airlines covering a total of 292 A320 family aircraft. The orders will enter the company’s backlog “once the relevant criteria are met,” the company noted.

“These new orders demonstrate the strong confidence in Airbus from our customers. It is also a solid endorsement from our airline customers in China of the performance, quality, fuel efficiency, and sustainability of the world's leading family of single-aisle aircraft,” said Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer. “We commend the excellent work by George Xu and the entire Airbus China team as well as our customers’ teams for having brought to conclusion these long and extensive discussions that have taken place throughout the difficult Covid pandemic.”

The contracts included a 96-aircraft order for A320neos from China Southern valued at $12.25 billion at list prices, the airline reported in a stock exchange filing. Delivery schedules call for 30 airplanes to go to China Southern in 2024, 40 in 2025, 19 in 2026, and seven in 2027.

Airbus did not immediately respond to a request from AIN for further information.

The deal comes as a blow for Boeing and its 737 Max, 24 of which China Southern operated before the model’s grounding in March 2019 following two fatal accidents involving Max 8s. Nearly every relevant global civil aviation authority has allowed the Max to return to service apart from China’s, which continues to evaluate data from test flights.

China’s CAA became the first to ground the Max following the twin crashes that claimed the lives of 346 people. The CAAC issued an airworthiness directive (AD) that would have ostensibly allowed operators in that country to return the airplane to service soon. However, some seven months later, the Max remains grounded in the country.