China Places Order for 140 Airbus Aircraft
Airbus Airlines

China Places Order for 140 Airbus Aircraft

DALLAS – China’s state aircraft purchasing agency officially signed orders for 140 Airbus planes worth approximately US$17bn on Friday, according to China Aviation Supplies (CAS) Holding.

CAS states that the purchase agreement includes 132 Airbus A320 family planes and eight Airbus A350 planes. Airbus says that these are all pre-existing orders, with some included in an earlier order for 292 jets announced this year.

The agreement was formally signed on Friday during German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to China.

Airbus and Boeing have pushed to increase their presence in China, which is a crucial market for both. Travel within the nation is still restricted due to the zero-COVID policy, but orders for jets are usually placed years in advance due to the manufacturers’ limited production capacities.

So, what’s the scorecard in 2022?

Airbus inaugurated its A330 Completion and Delivery Centre (C&DC) in Tianjin, China, in 2017. Photo: Airbus

The Battle for China

In a victory for the European manufacturer in its competition with the US planemaker for supremacy in Asia’s largest economy, Airbus confirmed the signature of 292 A320 Family aircraft orders worth more than US$37bn to four Chinese airlines in July. It was one of Airbus’ largest-ever single-day hauls.

The A320 announcement marked the first significant aircraft orders placed by China in roughly three years.

As for Boeing, China Southern (CZ), which has traditionally been Boeing’s largest customer, axed more than 100 737 MAX aircraft from its short-term fleet plans in May 2022 due to delivery uncertainty.

Jumping to September 16, 2022, Boeing’s CEO, David Calhoun, stated that the US manufacturer would no longer wait for China to greenlight the 737 MAX that remained in storage and had been so ever since its initial grounding.

Over 400 Boeing MAX jets were stored at the Boeing facility back in March 2019 and of these, nearly 140 were supposed to have headed for various Chinese carriers and lessors. Boeing’s marketing lead says the largest MAX variant, the 737-10, competes most directly against Airbus’ largest A321neo variant, the XLR.

Two weeks after Calhoun’s MAX statement, China Airlines (CI) and Boeing sealed the deal for an order of up to 24 787 Dreamliners. The state-owned flag carrier of the Republic of China invested in the fuel-efficient widebody to increase passenger and cargo operations.

Featured image: Airbus

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Chief Online Editor at Airways Magazine, AVSEC interpreter, and visual artist. I am a grammar and sci-fi literature geek who loves editing text and film.

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