China Eastern Airlines to buy 50 Airbus planes

09:39, December 31, 2010      

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China Eastern Airlines, one of the country's three flagship flights, said on Thursday it will purchase as many as 50 Airbus A320 planes at a cost of $3.2 billion to meet the rising demand of Chinese travelers.

The airliners said in a statement that the aircrafts would be delivered from 2012 to 2015 and are expected to expand Eastern Airlines' fleet capacity by 11.3 percent. "Significant price concessions" are given by the France-based Airbus consortium, the statement said.

The burgeoning aviation market of an increasing affluent China is expected to offer more opportunities for global airplane manufacturers including Airbus and Boeing companies.

Just last week, Shandong Airlines said it would buy 15 Boeing 737-800s at a cost of $1.2 billion. In November, Air China, the country's biggest airlines, said it was to buy 20 passenger planes from Airbus in a deal worth $4.4 billion, including A330s and A350s. Also in November, China Southern Airlines said it agreed to buy 36 planes from Airbus at a price tag of $3.7 billion.

Chinese airlines will need 4,330 new jets valued at $480 billion over the next two decades, compared with global demand of 30,900 units during the period, said Boeing in an earlier estimate.

But the head of China's civil aviation administration offered a more bullish forecast last month, saying the country would have up to 5,000 aircraft to transport passengers and cargo by 2015.

By People's Daily Online
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