BEIJING: Four Chinese airlines will buy a total of 292 planes from Airbus in a $37 billion windfall for the aviation giant, the carriers said in separate statements Friday.
China Eastern said it had agreed to purchase 100 A320neo jets and China Southern said on the same day that it would buy 96 of the same model.
Air China and its subsidiary Shenzhen Airlines also confirmed the purchase of a combined 96 A320neo planes, according to separate filings.
The orders come after a bumper year for Airbus, which posted record profits for 2021 after a two-year pandemic slump, giving the company a further boost over US rival Boeing.
Airbus confirmed the sale in a statement on Friday, saying the deals showed “the positive recovery momentum and prosperous outlook for the Chinese aviation market”.
It said the deals have “brought to conclusion these long and extensive discussions that have taken place throughout the difficult Covid pandemic”.
Boeing's business in China -- one of the world's largest aviation markets -- was hit in recent years by uncertainty over its 737 MAX planes, which were suspended from use in the country after deadly crashes in 2019.
Chinese authorities finally gave the go-ahead for the 737 MAX to resume service last year after making a series of safety adjustments.
Air China on Friday said its latest purchase would “optimise fleet structure and supplement capacity in the long term”. - AFP