2 new Chinese airlines place 43 Airbus A320 plane orders

Sept. 25, 2013 at 7:06 AM
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BEIJING, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- European aircraft maker Airbus Wednesday announced orders for 43 of its A320 family of commercial planes from two startup airlines in China.

The orders were secured from Zhejiang Loong Airlines based in Hangzhou, capital of eastern China's Zhejiang province, and Qingdao Airlines, based in the coastal city of Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province.

Airbus, headquartered in Toulouse, France, said on its website that Zhejiang Loong signed a memorandum of understanding for 20 planes including 11 A320eco and nine A320neo jetliners.

Qingdao signed a purchase agreement for 23 planes, including five A320ceo and 18 A320neo jets, the announcement said.

Zhejiang Loong Chairman Liu Qihong said the Airbus A320 family is ideal for start-up airlines with advantages in operational reliability, economics and cabin space. The airline plans to build domestic and international networks around Hangzhou.

Qingdao President Xiao Liyuan said his airline pays attention to reliability, economics and cabin comfort of the aircraft and that the A320 is the right choice.

Airbus said the A320neo, with more efficient engines and large "Sharklet" wing tip devices, will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. At the end of August 2013, firm orders for the A320neo stood at 2,348 from 42 customers, it said.

The company said so far more than to 9,800 A320 family aircraft have been ordered and over 5,700 delivered to nearly 390 customers and operators worldwide.

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