MIAMI — In a ceremony held yesterday in Paris, China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) has signed with Airbus a General Terms Agreement (GTA) for 45 A330 family aircraft, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for additional 30 aircraft of the same type.
“The package order is a new vote of confidence in our A330 Family aircraft, which is already the most popular wide-body aircraft in China,” said Fabrice Brégier. “China is today the most important market for aviation in the world, we can be confident that air transport in China will continue to undergo rapid growth. We are honored to contribute to this development.”
Although there were no details on the selected wide-body variants or motorization choices, Reuters assures that Airbus has been pitching to China its A330 Regional, an optimized version to seat up to 400 passengers as a solution to deal with Chinese domestic congestion. Since its launch in February 2014 during the Aviation Expo China, this wide-body variant has not attracted a vast interest from customers until last June, when Saudi Arabian Airlines became its launch customer during the 51st Paris Air Show.
A Bright Future Ahead
Despite the recent economy slowdown in China, Airbus assures that the country will be leading passenger air traffic as its growth stills above the world average. According to Airbus Global Market Forecast, there will be a demand for more than 5,300 new commercial passenger aircraft sized over 100 seats and freighters in the 20-year period between 2014 and 2033. As of last May, the Airbus A330 program reached its 1500th order with over 1,100 aircraft delivered to about 110 operators worldwide. Chinese operators count with about the 15% of Airbus A330 world fleet, equivalent to over 150 jetliners.