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China to buy 60 more Airbus planes

April 26, 2013 at 5:31 AM   |   Comments

BEIJING, April 26 (UPI) -- China has agreed to buy 60 Airbus planes, the European aircraft maker announced.

The total value of the deal was not announced.

The agreement signed in Beijing with state-owned China Aviation Supplies Holding Co. will include 42 single-aisle A320 and 18 wide-body A330 planes, Airbus said on its website.

CAS President and CEO Li Hai and Airbus head Fabrice Bregier were joined by French President Francois Hollande and his Chinese host Xi Jinping at the signing.

The deal was part of a number of agreements signed between the two countries.

"We are delighted to receive a new order from our longstanding customer CAS for both the Airbus best-selling single aisle A320 Family and wide-body A330 Family," Bregier said. "The A320's high reliability and low operational cost has made it very popular with Chinese airlines.

Bregier said congestion is putting pressure on airports in large Chinese cities and the A330 offers a solution because larger aircraft can transport more passengers with fewer flights.

The company, which has headquarters in Toulouse, France, said at the end of March, there were about 750 A320 Family planes in operation with 14 Chinese airlines and more than 110 A330s flying with six operators.

The company said more than 9,400 A320 Family planes have been ordered so far and more than 5,500 delivered to more than 385 customers around the world.

CAS specializes in plane procurement and support services for aviation supplies.

Earlier this month, China Daily reported Airbus and U.S. aircraft maker Boeing are in competition to gain market share in the highly competitive Chinese market.

The report said Airbus accounts for 49 percent of the total Chinese plane fleet and Boeing has the remaining 51 percent.

It said Boeing plans to ship 120 new planes to China this year, a 60 percent growth over last year's numbers.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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