Jul 12, 2019 (China Knowledge) - Air China has signed a purchase contract with the global aircraft producer Airbus to buy 20 A350-900 airplanes. The order is worth about USD 6.54 billion based on open market prices.
The deliveries will be conducted in batches between 2020 and 2022. The final price paid will actually be less since Airbus will offer a large discount with a credit note. Additionally, Air China has the right to swap five of the 20 jets for the larger A350-1000. The purchase will increase Air China’s transport capacity by around 9.7% as it helps optimize its fleet structure, supplement its capacity, improve its operational cost-effectiveness, and provide a more comfortable passenger service.
Airbus recently confirmed a change in the order, and it announced that Air China’s total order for the A350 now is 30 planes. This will help the European planemaker narrow the deficit in the market for wide-body airplanes against its U.S. rival Boeing. Considering the rising Sino-U.S. trade tensions, this deal has caused speculation that it is retaliation for the recent blacklisting of Huawei Technologies by the US. However, China has announced that it would not discriminate against foreign companies.
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