Airbus Confirms Orders for 292 A320 Aircraft from Four Chinese Airlines

By Staff Writer | July 1, 2022
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Airbus confirmed the signature of orders with four airlines: Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, and Shenzhen Airlines. Pictured above are A319neo aircraft delivered to China Southern. (Photo: Airbus)

Airbus confirmed orders for 292 A320 aircraft from four Chinese airlines today: Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, and Shenzhen Airlines. As of May 31, Chinese operators had more than 2,070 aircraft in their in-service Airbus fleet, and the order total for A320neo Family aircraft exceeded 8,000.

Airbus’ A320neo Family includes new-generation engines—CFM International’s LEAP-1A and Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G-JM geared turbofan. Also incorporated on the A320neo aircraft are Sharklet wingtip devices, which aid in reducing drag. Both of these features enable per-seat fuel improvements of 20%, according to Airbus, and extend the range of the aircraft up to 500nm. Additionally, the noise levels of A320neo aircraft are reduced by 50%.

Since A320neo aircraft entered into service six years ago, the company has recorded deliveries of more than 2,200 units. By introducing this family of aircraft, Airbus has also saved 15 million tons of CO2. 

The new orders from four Chinese airlines show customers’ confidence in Airbus, according to Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and Head of International. “It is also a solid endorsement from our airline customers in China of the performance, quality, fuel efficiency and sustainability of the world’s leading family of single aisle aircraft,” he remarked. 

The Airbus A320 family of aircraft continues to be one of the company’s top priorities. (Photo: Airbus)

The CEO of Airbus, Guillaume Faury, spoke about some of the challenges in China during the company’s first-quarter earnings call in May. In addition to geopolitical tensions and supply chain issues, the new COVID-19 wave in China has presented obstacles to Airbus’ progress in 2022, Faury said. “In China, domestic air travel has essentially deteriorated sharply and is currently around 20% to 30% of its pre-COVID level in flight numbers,” he remarked. “The deterioration of the COVID situation in the country is a concern.”

This has the potential to affect whether some customers in China are able to take aircraft deliveries, Faury added, at least in the short-term. The unpredictability of COVID-19-related restrictions impacts not only delivery of aircraft to China but also the financial situation of the airlines if the low air traffic levels persist throughout the second and third quarters of 2022. “We are monitoring the situation in China very carefully,” he shared.

The company continues to prioritize the A320 family of aircraft, he added. Net orders for Airbus in Q1 totaled 83 aircraft; at the end of March, their backlog amounted to 7,023 units, including 5,821 of the A320 family of aircraft. Airbus also delivered 142 aircraft in the first quarter of the year to 48 customers, 109 of which belonged to the A320 family.

Airbus CCO Christian Scherer stated, in the announcement about the new orders from China, that this is the conclusion of extensive discussions that have been taking place since the start of the pandemic. “We commend the excellent work by George Xu and the entire Airbus China team as well as our customers’ teams,” he said.

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