HONG KONG - China Southern, the country's largest airline, announced on Thursday that it had agreed to purchase 36 Airbus planes for $3.78 billion from Airbus SNC, based in French city Toulouse.
In a statement filed to the Hong Kong stock exchange, China Southern said it would buy six Airbus A330 aircraft for $1.205 billion and 30 Airbus A320 series aircraft for $2.575 billion.
The aggregate consideration will be partly payable by cash and partly by financing arrangements with banking institutions, according to the statement.
The six Airbus A330 planes will be delivered in stages to China Southern between 2013 and 2014. While the 30 Airbus A320 series aircraft will be delivered in stages from 2012 to 2015, said the airline.
The airline, based in South China's Guangzhou city, said the purchasing was consistent with its development strategy and the aircraft fleet structure plan.
The acquisition will facilitate the optimization of the structures of its aircraft fleet and traffic capacity, thus enhancing China Southern's competitiveness and core competence, it said.
Delivery of the 36 planes will increase the airline's carrying capacity by nearly 14 percent when compared to the capacity by Dec 31 last year, according to the statement.
China Southern operates domestic, regional and international services. It is a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. It operates a total fleet of 400 Airbus and Boeing jet aircraft, the company said on its website.
In 2009, China Southern carried 66.28 million passengers and was the 3rd largest airline in the world and the largest one in Asia, it said. China Southern has been ranked as the largest airline in China for 31 consecutive years.