China Southern has ordered 20 Airbus A350-900s, becoming the 45th carrier to purchase the wide-bodied aircraft.

According to the aircraft manufacturer China Southern already operates “one of the largest Airbus fleet in the world”, with more than 300 Airbus aircraft in service, comprising the A320 Family, the A330 Family and five A380 superjumbos.

Commenting on the order Tan Wangeng, president of China Southern Airlines said:

“With its very long range capability, economic fuel consumption and spacious cabin, the A350 XWB is the ideal choice for our international long haul routes. The introduction of the A350 XWB will help to strengthen our position as one of the world’s leading international carriers.”

Airbus says it now has 841 orders for the A350, across 45 customers.

China Southern recently announced plans to increase the frequency of its Heathrow-Guangzhou route to twice daily from June 1. This route is operated by Boeing B787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The carrier also confirmed a codeshare agreement with American Airlines last month, following AA’s commitment of a US$200 million equity investment in the the Chinese airline.