Airbus secures commitments for 43 A320s from two new Chinese airlines

An Airbus A320 plane is seen under construction on the assembly line of an Airbus factory in the northern port city of Tianjin on June 13, 2012. Airbus has secured commitments for more than 40 of its A320 family of aircraft from two new Chinese
An Airbus A320 plane is seen under construction on the assembly line of an Airbus factory in the northern port city of Tianjin on June 13, 2012. Airbus has secured commitments for more than 40 of its A320 family of aircraft from two new Chinese airlines, the company said at an industry event. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Airbus has secured commitments for more than 40 of its A320 family of aircraft from two new Chinese airlines, the company said at an industry event.

Qingdao Airlines signed a purchase agreement for 23 aircraft, comprising five regular A320s and 18 of the re-engined upgraded A320neo, at Aviation Expo China 2013 in Beijing.

Deliveries are expected to begin in 2016.

The airline, which is based at the coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong Province, expects to begin operations in 2014 with leased A320 aircraft.

Separately, Zhejiang Loong Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding for 20 Airbus A320 aircraft. This includes 11 current generation A320s and nine A320neo.

The airline, which is based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, expects to start operations this year.

Both deals have to be approved by the Chinese government before they can be added to Airbus backlog as firm orders.