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Xiamen Airlines to purchase 40 Airbus aircraft
Published: Sep 23, 2022 12:38 AM
Xiamen Airlines Photo: Xinhua News

Xiamen Airlines Photo: Xinhua News



 
Xiamen Airlines, which has previously relied on Boeing, has just signed a big aircraft purchase deal with Airbus. 

China Southern Airlines said its subsidiary Xiamen Airlines signed a deal with Airbus for 40 A320 NEO aircraft at a cost of $4.848 billion.

The aircraft are scheduled to be delivered from 2024 to 2027, according to the filing posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Xiamen Airlines has mainly relied on Boeing since its establishment in 1984. As of the first half of 2022, the carrier has a total of 208 Boeing aircraft, including the 737 series, 787 series and 757 series. As a result, Xiamen Airlines is the largest Boeing fleet airline in China.

The 208 737 series aircraft in Xiamen Airlines also include 10 737 MAX aircraft, and the carrier is supposed to receive 17 new 737 MAX aircraft, but it is still uncertain when the deliveries will resume, according to jiemian.com.

The Global Times reported recently that China is about to finish the process for re-introducing the Boeing 737 MAX after more than three years' suspension due to safety concerns. China's aviation regulator and Boeing held a meeting that reviewed improved aircraft training plans for the 737 series. 

Market watchers said Xiamen Airlines may be facing insufficient capacity as some of its aircraft are grounded and the deliveries of new aircraft are still uncertain. 

In the past three years, the fleet size of Xiamen Airlines has barely grown. The annual report of China Southern Airlines said that as of the end of 2019, Xiamen Airlines had 206 Boeing aircraft, only two less than the current 208 aircraft. 

Media reports said that the deal with Airbus was decided before the epidemic, and yicai.com reported in September 2019 that Xiamen Airlines got approval for the introduction of Airbus aircraft from China Southern.

Xiamen Airlines reported revenue of 8.801 billion yuan ($1.25 billion) in the first half of 2022, a year-on-year decrease of 22.78 percent. The carrier said it plans to provide funds for the deal through business operations, bank loans and other financing methods.