TOULOUSE (Airbus) - Airbus is setting a new and significant record in its 20 years of close cooperation with the Chinese civil aviation industry by signing a General Terms Agreement (GTA) for the purchase of 150 A320 family aircraft with China Aviation Supplies Import and Export Group (CASGC) during the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to France.
CASGC President Li Hai and Airbus President and CEO Gustav Humbert signed the GTA in Paris in the presence of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. With a total value close to US$ 10 billion, the order for 150 A320 family aircraft comprises A319s, A320s and A321s, marking the largest single order that Airbus has ever received since it entered the Chinese market two decades ago. The 150 aircraft will be delivered to six Chinese airlines, including Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, and Hainan Airlines.
"Since it was first introduced into the Chinese market in 1995, the A320 family aircraft has been put in-service by 10 Chinese operators with a total of 216 aircraft, accounting for 2/3 of all in-service Airbus aircraft, or nearly 1/4 of the total aircraft in operation in China. The demand for this modern and cost-saving aircraft family from Chinese airlines has been rapidly increasing in recent years," said CASGC President Li Hai. "We are very pleased to sign the record-breaking GTA with Airbus today and to be a part of this historic order for China. We look forward to an even closer relationship with Airbus and further improving our service to Airbus’ Chinese customers and operators."
"We are delighted and proud to see such great business success in China, which not only indicates the strong demand and the rapid growth of this dynamic market, but also shows a new and significant vote of confidence in our best-selling aircraft family from our Chinese customers," said Airbus President and CEO Gustav Humbert. "Today’s GTA is no doubt the best way to celebrate our 20-year-long close cooperation with China. We will continue to provide the Chinese customers and airlines with the best family of aircraft and full technical support to ensure smooth and profitable operation of all Airbus fleets in China, while also studying possibilities to continue upgrading the cooperation to new levels between the Chinese civil aviation industry and Airbus."
By the end of October 2005, the A320 Family had more than 3,900 firm orders from some 145 customers worldwide. It is the recognised technological leader in single-aisle aircraft category, with all its members sharing the highest degree of commonality and economy, benefiting operators by their reduced maintenance and training costs.
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