China Southern has placed an order for 10 Airbus A330-300s, due for delivery between 2014 and 2016.
The order would be worth US$1.88 billion at the list prices of the aircraft, although the airline said that some concessions were obtained.
The carrier said the new aircraft would boost its capacity by 5.7 per cent and enhance its competitiveness in the fast-expanding China market. It said that the new aircraft were intended to “facilitate the strategic changes and the internationalisation” of the airline, enhancing its network of flights to and from China.
China Southern has recently been upgrading its long-haul international services (see here). In October, it began using its new A380 to fly between Guangzhou and Los Angeles (see story here). The airline also has an existing order in place for 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, scheduled for delivery in September but since delayed.
On November 23, China Eastern Airlines also announced it would buy 60 A320s to be delivered between 2014 and 2017.
The surge in Chinese aircraft orders is thought to be connected to the EU announcement that it would not change its emissions rules in the next year (see here). When the EU proposed the emissions trading scheme in March, Chinese airlines suspended US$12 billion of orders from Airbus, according to China Daily. Click here to read a Business Traveller feature about the ETS.