Tue, 16 Aug 2022

Chinese state airlines to buy some 300 Airbus jets

Robert Besser
05 Jul 2022, 01:52 GMT+10

BEIJING, China: Chinese airlines announced last week that they would purchase some 300 Airbus jets.

This is the largest order placed by China since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During simultaneous announcements, Air China and China Southern Airlines said they would each purchase 96 A320 airliners valued at $12.2 billion.

China Eastern Airlines also announced plans to purchase 100 A320 aircraft, worth $12.8 billion.

China normally accounts for purchasing one-third of all planes manufactured by Boeing and Airbus. However, Boeing remains at a disadvantage due to continuing trade friction between the U.S. and China.

Industry observers see the purchase of 300 Airbus aircraft as a visible step by Beijing towards European suppliers.

In reaction to the purchase, Boeing has urged the U.S. and Chinese governments to engage in productive discussions.

"As a top U.S. exporter with a 50-year relationship with China's aviation industry, it is disappointing that geopolitical differences continue to constrain U.S. aircraft exports," Boeing said in a statement.

"Boeing aircraft sales to China historically support tens of thousands of American jobs, and we are hopeful orders and deliveries will resume promptly."

Of note, China has not yet resumed flights of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, even though China has lifted its ground order on the troubled aircraft.

Privately, it is not known whether Airbus can fulfill such a large order, due to continued worldwide supply chain problems.

Airbus shares rose more than 3 percent on news of the purchases by China.

China Eastern has said that the narrow body A320 jets would be largely used on domestic routes.

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