Press Release by Airbus
Zhejiang Loong Airlines, based in Hangzhou, capital city of Zhejiang province in Eastern China, has signed its first purchase agreement with Airbus, for 20 A320 Family aircraft, including 11 A320ceo and nine A320neo, becoming the lastest Airbus customer. The agreement follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in September at the Beijing Airshow.
In addition Zhejiang Loong Airlines has also become the latest Airbus operator in mainland China, having completed its maiden commercial flight with a leased A320.
“Today is a special day for Zhejiang Loong Airlines as we start passenger operation and order 20 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, which demonstrates our ambition to contribute to the economic and social development of Zhejiang province by providing efficient transportation,” said Liu Qihong, Chairman of Zhejiang Loong Airlines. “We are making efforts to play a more important role in building the four-hour transportation circle around Hangzhou, which is advocated by the Zhejiang Government. The Airbus A320 Family aircraft is ideal for us to achieve our goals with advantages in operational reliability, economics, cabin space and its commonality between different types of Airbus aircraft.”
“We congratulate Zhejiang Loong Airlines on becoming a new customer and operator of the best-selling Airbus A320 Family” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “The A320 is the most eco-efficient single-aisle aircraft family and a world-class customer support network will provide Zhejiang Loong Airlines with an excellent platform to benefit from the economic growth in the region.”
The A320neo is offered as an option for the A320 Family and incorporates new more efficient engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. At the end of November 2013, firm orders for the NEO stood at 2,523 from 45 customers, making it the fastest selling commercial airliner ever and underlining its market leadership position.
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. To date, more than to 10,000 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered and some 5,850 delivered to around 395 customers and operators worldwide.
Airbus also unveiled a lighter version of its A330 wide-body jet aimed particularly at markets such as China, which is already the biggest buyer of the aircraft.
China is set to supplant the US as the largest market for commercial aircraft by 2032, Airbus said in its annual forecast spanning two decades.
Chief executive Fabrice Bregier said: “The Chinese market will be the biggest one in the next 20 years, and we’ll continue to lead there.”
The deals will bring Airbus beyond the 1,000 aircraft orders the company predicted it will gain this year.
The VietJetAir deal includes 42 A320neos, 14 A320s, six A321s, and another 30 purchase rights.
Qingdao Airlines, a newly-established private carrier in China, agreed to buy 23 A320s in a deal valued at $2.3 billion.
Zhejiang Loong Airlines signed an agreement for 11 A320s and nine A320neos valued at $1.9 billion.
BOC Aviation made a $2.4 billion commitment with plans to take 13 A320s and 12 A320neos.
Sourced from Travel Weekly