Good news for Airbus: Within 24 hours, several Chinese airlines order almost 300 medium-haul aircraft from the aircraft manufacturer. These are the first large orders from the People's Republic in three years.
The world's largest aircraft manufacturer Airbus sold almost 300 passenger jets in China in one day. The manufacturer and the airlines China Southern, China Eastern, Air China and Shenzhen Airlines announced bulk orders for a total of 292 medium-haul A320neo family aircraft. The Dax group scored again against its competitor Boeing from the USA.
The latest major orders for Airbus come just weeks ahead of the Farnborough airshow in the UK, where aircraft manufacturers traditionally compete for large orders. China Eastern Airlines has now announced an order for 100 A320neo jets. Air China is ordering 64 aircraft in the series and its subsidiary Shenzhen Airlines is ordering another 32. China Southern Airlines had previously announced the purchase of 96 A320neo aircraft. The company also wants to lease more machines.
According to the price list, the Chinese orders have a total value of more than 37 billion US dollars, the equivalent of 35.4 billion euros. However, large discounts are common when ordering aircraft. China Southern Airlines itself pointed out in the notice that the actual price is lower. The deals are the first major aircraft orders from China in around three years.
Airbus and Boeing have been fighting for dominance of the aviation market in the world's most populous country for years. Air traffic there continues to suffer severely from the severe restrictions imposed by the corona pandemic. However, aircraft types that are in high demand, such as the Airbus A320neo, have to be ordered several years in advance, since the manufacturers' order books are full to bursting, especially in this segment - and production is fully booked for a long time. The jets ordered for China Southern are to be delivered between 2024 and 2027, and the company also wants to lease 19 machines in the series. Air China expects its new aircraft in 2023-2027, Shenzhen Airlines between 2024-2026.
China Southern Airlines has been Boeing's biggest customer in the country, but it also has many Airbus jets in its fleet. In May, however, the company removed more than 100 firm orders for medium-haul Boeing 737 Max jets from its short-term fleet planning. The reason given by the company was uncertainties with regard to deliveries. Airbus and Boeing had significantly reduced their aircraft production due to the corona pandemic. In addition, Boeing has only been allowed to deliver its 737 Max jets again since autumn 2020, when the USA lifted the flight ban for the type after crashes. Since then, Boeing has been ramping up production of the series again, most recently to 31 jets per month.
Airbus is already a good deal further with the A320neo model family. From the last 45 to 50 machines, production is expected to increase to 65 units per month by 2023. That would be more than ever. By the middle of the decade, Airbus boss Guillaume Faury has set himself the goal of a record production of 75 jets per month.