Airbus has new orders worth a reported $37 billion from four Chinese state-owned airlines – Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, and Shenzhen Airlines – which it attributed to the “prosperous outlook for the Chinese aviation market”. The orders for a total of 292 A320neo aircraft is also new evidence of the difficulty for rival Boeing Co. in the Chinese market.
Last December the Civil Aviation Authority of China cleared the domestic industry to resume service with the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, but as yet none of the operators there have done so, and none have taken delivery of as many as 150 aircraft that Boeing has completed since the 737 MAX was grounded for almost two years following two fatal accidents. The delivery backlog of deliveries is a source of significant revenue shortfall for Boeing.
Meanwhile, Airbus continues to gain market share with the A320neo series, a competitor to the 737 MAX as a fuel-efficient narrow-body aircraft option. Airbus maintains it has totaled more than 8,000 orders from 130 buyers since it introduced the updated version of the A320 in 2014.
Many details of the new Airbus orders are unavailable, including the particular models and delivery dates. China Southern confirmed it is the buyer for 96 of the A320neo aircraft, an order worth about $12.2 billion.
“These new orders demonstrate the strong confidence in Airbus from our customers,” stated chief commercial officer Christian Scherer. “It is also a solid endorsement from our airline customers in China of the performance, quality, fuel efficiency, and sustainability of the world's leading family of single-aisle aircraft.”
Airbus noted it has more than 2,070 aircraft in service with Chinese operators.