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China Southern Air signs deal to buy 21 Airbus planes

China Southern Airlines , said it has signed a deal to buy 21 planes from the European consortium Airbus…

China Southern Airlines , said it has signed a deal to buy 21 planes from the European consortium AirbusIndustrie at a cost of at least 1.17 bln usd.



China Southern will buy 15 A320-200 aircraft for between 57.6 mln and 61.6 mln usd each and six A319-100 aircraft for between 50.6 mln and 61.2 mln usd each.



The purchase will be financed through bank loans, the carrier said in a statement. Deliveries will be made in 2005 and 2006.



The planned aircraft order was first announced in late January during Chinese President Hu Jintao`s state visit to France, where he also toured Airbus headquarters in Toulouse. Gu Ming, Airbus spokesman in China, confirmed the signing of the deal.



This is the first major deal we have signed in China this year, following a bulk order of 30 planes by five Chinese airlines last April, said Gu.



Airbus is a unit of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. Its business in China has been expanding steadily since its entry in 1985, with around 200 Airbus aircraft currently in service in the Greater China area, including Hong Kong and Macau.



Airbus now has about a 30 pct share of the market in China and has publicly announced its goal of boosting that to 50 pct, by seizing on the country`s need for some 1,600 large aircraft in the coming 20 years.



Liu Huangsheng, head of planning and development at the airline told AFX-Asia that the new order does not signal a switch in favor of Airbus aircraft or a replacement of Boeing planes with its European rival. He said it was a decision based on price offers submitted by Boeing and Airbus for additional aircraft.



The new airbus aircraft will be used to step up China Southern`s domestic and international capacity, he said.



The carrier had scheduled to take delivery of seven Boeing 737 airliners and a B-747 freighter this year, he added.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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