CAS signs deal to buy 140 Airbus aircraft worth $17b
Published: Nov 04, 2022 09:11 PM
An Airbus A350-900 arrives at the Baoan International Airport in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province, Jan. 6, 2022. China Southern Airlines launched two new Airbus A350-900 in Shenzhen on Thursday. The new aircraft will mainly serve domestic routes between Beijing Daxing International Airport, Shanghai and Chengdu.(Photo: Xinhua)

An Airbus A350-900 arrives at the Baoan International Airport in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, January 6, 2022. Photo: Xinhua

China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) signed a General Terms Agreement (GTA) with France-based Airbus to buy 140 aircraft on Friday, the same day as the visit to China by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The 140 Airbus aircraft will include 132 A320 series aircraft and eight A350 aircraft, with a total value of about $17 billion, according to an announcement posted on the official website of CAS.

The company said the move is partly down to the recovery in China's air transport market, and the likelihood of steady and rapid growth in the future.

Airbus aircraft will be purchased in batches in order to adapt to the development of the aviation market and meet the needs of enterprises' transportation capacity, the company added.

The framework agreement was signed on the same day as the arrival in China of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for his official visit. Scholz is leading a high-level business delegation to China as part of his visit.

He is the first European leader to visit China since the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and the visit is set to further enhance the mutual understanding and trust between the two sides and deepen practical cooperation in various fields.

China is an important trading partner for Germany and for Europe as a whole. Germany firmly supports trade liberalization and economic globalization, and opposes decoupling. Germany stands ready for closer trade and economic cooperation with China, and supports more mutual investment between Chinese and German businesses, Scholz said.

The framework agreement also came after three state-owned airlines - China Southern, Air China and China Eastern - announced in July a deal with Airbus to buy 292 aircraft valued at around $37 billion in total, a deal that shows economic and trade ties remain tight and are mutually beneficial between China and Europe, experts said. The aircraft are expected to be delivered between 2023 and 2027.

China and Europe are partners not rivals, with close economic connectivity and strong complementarity, and bilateral cooperation is far greater than competition, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, said in October.

Last year, China-EU trade exceeded $800 billion for the first time while bilateral trade this year has been resilient, despite the pandemic, inflation and geopolitical conflicts.

The Chinese aviation market has seen a gradual recovery this year. The Civil Aviation Administration of China said the recovery of major transportation indicators for the industry in the third quarter was higher than in the second quarter.

Three major Chinese air carriers are expected to fly more than 140 overseas routes with the winter/spring season having started on October 30. Although flight activity is still far behind pre-pandemic levels, experts said that it shows the regulator's efforts to gradually restore confidence in civil aviation.

CAS specializes in the procurement of aircraft and the provision of aviation supplies. The scope of the main business involves aircraft batch purchases, aviation leasing and airport service support.

Global Times