China airline to buy 60 Airbus planes
HONG KONG - Agence France-PresseChina Eastern Airlines, one of the country’s three major carriers, said on Nov. 23 it will buy 60 Airbus A320 aircraft in a deal worth $5.39 billion to meet booming domestic travel demand.
“The Airbus aircraft will primarily be used to satisfy the increasing demand for domestic medium and short-haul passenger air transportation routes,” the airline said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
“The purchase of the Airbus aircraft will further strengthen the company’s competitiveness in the domestic civil aviation market and increase its operational capacity in domestic routes of the company.” The Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines said the new aircraft will be delivered in stages from 2014 to 2017 while the purchase will be funded through bank loans. The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.
China Eastern also said it has agreed to sell 18 regional jets in a bid to streamline its fleet.