China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) and ICBC Financial Leasing Co Ltd (ICBC Leasing) have signed agreements with Airbus for a total of 88 A320 Family aircraft.
CAS's General Terms Agreement (GTA) with Airbus for the 88 airplanes was signed recently in Berlin by Li Hai, President of CAS, and Tom Enders, President and CEO of Airbus.
In the frame of this GTA, ICBC Leasing signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 42 A320 Family aircraft. The agreement was signed by Li Xiaopeng, Senior Executive Vice President of ICBC, and Enders.
This is the first order that ICBC Leasing has placed directly with an aircraft manufacturer. So far ICBC, a subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest bank by market capitalization, has 68 aircraft in its portfolio.
Hai said the A320 model is well-suited to the Chinese aviation market. "Since the first A320 Family aircraft was introduced in China in 1995, the Airbus single aisle program has played an important role in supporting the fast Chinese civil aviation growth. The A320's high reliability and low operational cost have made them very popular among Chinese airlines. The outstanding eco-efficient performance of the Airbus A320 Family will contribute significantly to the sustainable development of Chinese civil aviation."
Li shared Hai's sentiments, saying "After a thorough assessment and study of the market, we have decided to place our very first order with Airbus for its A320 Family. This strategic decision to start with the A320 Family aircraft will help our customers to develop their business in the most profitable and sustainable way."
Airbus's Enders said it was good to be continuing business in China as well as establishing fresh contacts. "We are delighted to receive a new order from our long-lasting customer CAS, and also the very first order from ICBC Leasing. These aircraft will contribute to the growth and success of China's aviation sector, and we are proud to be their partner." said Enders.
By the end of May 2011, there were some 575 A320 Family aircraft in operation with 13 Chinese airlines.
The A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. With more than 7,000 aircraft sold and over 4,700 aircraft delivered to more than 330 customers and operators worldwide, the A320 Family is the world's best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. With 99.7 percent reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the worldwide standard wide-body system.