Air China to buy 18 Airbus planes for $2.2 billion
Published: Mar 18, 2021 11:30 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The Chinese flag carrier, Air China, announced on Thursday that it has signed an agreement with AFS Investments Inc, a subsidiary of aircraft leasing giant GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), to buy 18 Airbus A320neo planes from the European manufacturer to improve its transport capacity.

The deal, worth $2.2 billion, will deliver 18 planes to Air China by 2022 in batches, according to a statement by the carrier sent to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The actual transaction price will be adjusted after purchase price concessions are confirmed. 

The 18 planes include five A320-200N airplanes and 13 A321-200NX ones. 

The airline added that the deal will improve the company’s transport capacity by 2.12 percent. 

“The recovery of China’s domestic aviation market has outperformed the international market since epidemic prevention was regulated, which drives the utility rate of narrow-body aircrafts in the domestic market. The purchase will supplement the long-term transport capacity of Air China in Beijing and Chengdu,” Air China announced. 

The purchase is contingent on the approval of China's aviation regulator, Xinhua News Agency reported. 

It is estimated that Air China operates roughly 700 planes by the end of 2020, among which 366 are Airbus crafts and 328 are Boeing planes, according to media reports.   

Zhang Qing, official of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said on Monday that the civil aviation industry will strive to increase air freight and passenger volumes to 80 and 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, respectively. 

Global Times