Home>News Center>China

Airbus signs deal with East Star
By Lu Haoting (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-28 05:36

WUHAN: East Star Airlines, China's fourth registered private airline, yesterday signed a letter of intent with Airbus to buy 10 A320s and a lease deal with GE Commercial Aviation Service (GECAS) for another 10 A320s.

The deals are the largest single orders Airbus and GECAS have signed with a Chinese private airline.

The new airline company is owned by China East Star Group, one of the largest private enterprises in Hubei Province.

East Star Airlines, based in Wuhan, Hubei Province, received approval for the operation of its service from the General Administration of Civil Aviation in June this year and plans to start its flight service in May next year.

The leased A320s will be delivered from the second quarter of next year.

"The A320 family aircraft is undoubtedly the best choice for our new airline company. Its unmatched low operating costs combined with the high level of passenger comfort will help the company take off smoothly and successfully," said Lan Shili, president of China East Star Group, which is parent of the airline.

Lan declined to comment on the value of the deals. A320s are priced at 60 million yuan (US$7.4 million) each in the catalogue. He said that the 20 A320s will be delivered over the next five years.

"The private airline business is a new sector in China and we have been paying close attention to this," said Laurence Barron, president of Airbus China.

Another two Chinese private carriers, Shanghai-based Spring Airlines and Chengdu-based United Eagle, currently have one A320 family aircraft in service each. Spring Airlines leased its second A320 earlier this month. Okay Airways, based in Tianjin and China's first registered private airline, has leased two B737s from Korean Air.

"It is very hard for an airline to make a profit if its fleet is too small." Lan said. "With the fast growth of Wuhan's economy, the city's aviation service demand is expected to soar."

Lan said his confidence in the new company also comes from the fact that flights from and to Wuhan, operated by China Eastern and China Southern, are now flying at almost full capacity.

(China Daily 11/28/2005 page2)

Taiwan residents rally to denounce Chen Shui-bian
Earthquake kills 15 in Jiangxi
Bus self-ignites in Hubei
  Today's Top News     Top China News

15 killed in quake, scared residents camp out in open



Abuse of Chinese woman spark uproar



Water supply restored to parts of Harbin



China mulls cutting big surplus in trade



Japanese minister raps China over shrine



China aims to send man on moon in 15 years


  Manned moon mission expected in 10 to 15 years
  Undersupply of coal to ease in 2006
  Chinese city to turn taps back on after toxic spill
  Additional fees on jet fuel extended to next March
  Delegation of Shenzhou-6 visits Hong Kong
  Hu underscores innovation of Marxism
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.