China's Zhejiang Loong Airlines confirms order of 20 Airbus 320 planes

PARIS (AFP) - China's Zhejiang Loong Airlines has ordered 20 Airbus planes of the A-320 series, firming up a deal made in September, Airbus announced in a statement Sunday.

The carrier that is based in Hangzhou, east China, had been given the green light for the transport of passengers when it signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus at the 15th Aviation Expo China 2013 in Beijing.

Zhejiang Loong Airlines's order concerns 11 A-320ceo and nine A-320neo.

Zhejiang Loong Airlines "made its first commercial flight with a leased A-320, thereby becoming a new Airbus user", the aircraft manufacturer said.

The carrier is "determined to contribute to the economic and social development of Zhejiang province offering efficient transport services", Airbus quoted company chief Liu Qihong as saying.

The airline plans to offer services within a range of four hours around Hangzhou.

Airbus markets the A-320 family, a single-aisle jetliner (composed of the A-318, A-319, A-320 and A-321) as "the world's most eco-efficient single-aisle product line".

The manufacturer says it had 2,523 firm orders of the aircraft at the end of November.