Airbus has received a massive order for 292 single-aisle A320 family aircraft from four Chinese airlines.
At the infrequently used list price, the purchase, for Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, and Shenzhen Airlines, totals around $37 billion (€35.4 billion).
Despite the pandemic crippling China’s air travel, there is still a great need for planes.
These unfulfilled orders for Airbus “show the robust recovery momentum and lucrative prospects of the Chinese aviation business,” according to the company.
China Southern will buy 96 of the same model as well as 100 A320neo Family planes from China Eastern. 64 and 32 A320neo aircraft will be purchased by Air China and its subsidiary Shenzhen Airlines, respectively.
The airlines did not identify the A320 family models concerned, but a source familiar with the situation claims that they include the smaller A319s as well as larger A320s and A321s that can carry more passengers.
All deliveries are planned to occur between 2023 and 2027, which suggests that the agreement was signed in the distant past since Airbus struggles to find delivery slots due to the huge demand for its single-aisle aircraft.
Airlines all around the world are working to get ready for the increase in global traffic that is anticipated to happen over the next 20 years compared to 2019, despite being weakened by the epidemic. They are getting ready to swap out their fleets with more up-to-date, fuel-efficient aircraft to achieve this goal.
And although China’s tight health regulations have caused aviation traffic to stagnate, it is predicted to soar in the upcoming years. According to Airbus predictions, China’s operational aircraft fleet is anticipated to quadruple to approximately 11,000 aircraft by 2040.
The A320 family of aircraft has more than 8,000 orders in the European aircraft manufacturer’s order book as of the end of May.
higher manufacturing rates
Despite the likelihood of long-term growth, when Guillaume Faury, the executive chairman of Airbus, was questioned a few months ago about the absence of Chinese orders for several years, he expressed confidence.
In front of a few journalists, he declared, “There will be a need to replenish this order book so that the airlines can regain visibility.
According to a person familiar with the situation, this large order supports the European aircraft manufacturer’s goal of increasing output to 75 A320 aircraft each month by 2025.
Given the investment required and the anticipated long-term demand, certain suppliers, notably engine manufacturer Safran, have questioned the propriety of such rates.
Airbus started a gradual increase in output and will be producing 45 A320 Family aircraft per month by the end of 2021 after having dramatically cut output during the pandemic. Despite concerns over supply in recent months and occasionally tough hiring, it intends to produce 65 per month by the summer of 2023.
The C919 jet from China’s national aircraft maker Comac, which is meant to compete with the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 MAX, has not yet received certification. Chinese corporations have ordered 815 aircraft, according to Comac.
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This type of order was revealed just a few days before the Farnborough International Airshow in England, which has historically been a venue for announcements of this nature by aircraft manufacturers. It is also a setback for Boeing and its 737 MAX, which Beijing deemed safe to fly once more in December.
With its single-aisle rival to the A320, the American aircraft manufacturer is banking on the sizeable Chinese domestic market to reclaim its glory. The four businesses that announced the Friday Airbus order are already MAX clients.