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Air China, China Southern approved for US$3-bln plane loans

Feb. 7, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Air China Ltd<601111><0753>, the largest carrier in the country by market value, and China Southern Airlines Ltd<600029><1055><ZNH>, the country's largest airline by fleet size, have received approval from the National Development and Reform Commission (or NDRC) to acquire around US$3 billion of loans for airline purchases.

According to statement released by NDRC, the commission has given a green light to Air China to borrow US$1.96 billion to purchase 28 aircraft, consisting of eight Airbus A320, six Airbus A321, one Airbus A330, seven Boeing B737 and six Boeing B777.

China Southern Airlines was approved to borrow US$954 million for buying 14 aircraft, comprising six Airbus A320, one Airbus A321, two Airbus A330, one Airbus A380 and four Boeing B737.

Total proposed orders of the two airlines are 25 Airbus aircraft and 17 Boeing aircraft.

As of October 31, 2011, Air China had operated more than 280 flights in 31 countries and regions with a fleet size of nearly 400 aircraft, while China Southern Airline is the world's sixth largest airline with a fleet size exceeding 440 aircraft.

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