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BEIJING May 16 China Southern Airlines Co Ltd
on Friday said it has ordered 80 aircraft
from Airbus Group NV worth at least $7.3 billion.
China Southern said it will receive 30 A320 and 50 A320neo
airplanes from 2016 to 2020, increasing capacity by over 12
percent. The airline will pay for the order using its own funds
and bank loans.
China Southern will also sell 6 Embraer SA E145
jets and components to Airbus before year-end, reducing capacity
by 0.02 percent, the Guangzhou-based carrier said in a statement
on its website.
The China Southern order provides a boost for Airbus in its
market-share battle against Boeing Co's rival 737 MAX
Both the A320neo and 737 MAX have new engines that improve
fuel efficiency. Airbus launched the A320neo program before
Boeing launched the 737 MAX, and Airbus has garnered nearly 60
percent of firm orders so far. However, Boeing said the 737 MAX
has won a majority of orders since the MAX was launched in July
Chinese carriers have recently been increasing capacity to
add flights and routes in China and beyond.
Earlier this week, 9 Air, a newly founded budget subsidiary
of privately owned Juneyao Airlines, ordered 50 Boeing 737 jets.