The China Aviation Supplies Imp. & Exp. Group Corporation (CASGC) has today signed a General Terms Agreement (GTA) with Airbus for a firm bulk order of 30 Airbus aircraft, scheduled for delivery from 2004. The order is estimated to be worth up to $1.7 billion.
Under the agreement, 30 aircraft, including 4 A330s, 16 A319s and 10 A320s will be operated by China Southern Airlines Group, Air China Group, China Eastern Airlines Group, Hainan Airlines and Sichuan Airlines.
Airbus President and CEO Noel Forgeard Airbus and CASGC President Li Hai signed the agreement at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin witnessed the signing ceremony.
‘CASGC has enjoyed a very good co-operative relationship with Airbus for many years,’ CASGC President Li Hai said. ‘With joint efforts, we hope that Airbus could provide more modern and economic aviation products to Chinese airlines, while CASGC could offer high quality and value-added services to Chinese airlines.’
‘Selection of the A330s, A320s and A319s has diversified and expanded Airbus fleet in China, marking a significant breakthrough for Airbus,’ said Airbus President and CEO Noel Forgeard. ‘We consider China a strategic market and we are delighted that Chinese airlines are giving us a new vote of confidence by selecting more Airbus aircraft.’
Airbus’s business in China has been steadily expanding since it first entered the country in 1985. The Airbus fleet in service in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao has grown to about 190 from 29 in 1995.
The A330 will reportedly enable Chinese airlines to open new domestic trunk routes and new international routes, while reducing operating costs.Four Chinese manufacturers are already involved in manufacturing of Airbus parts, such as wing components, passenger doors and maintenance tools.