China Southern takes 10 A330s as emissions dispute eases

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China Southern Airlines has agreed to acquire 10 Airbus A330-300s, in a sign that the rethink on the European emission-trading system has helped resolve a dispute over long-haul jet orders.

The Chinese carrier states that it has entered a purchase agreement with the airframer covering the jets. No engine selection has been disclosed.

China Southern values the agreement at nearly $1.9 billion based on the catalogue price, but says the aggregate actual consideration is lower because of "certain price concessions".

Airbus had bitterly complained that the European emissions-trading system needed to be rethought, warning that Chinese authorities were holding up long-haul aircraft orders in response.

It said that Chinese deals for A330s and A380s were being affected by the European position.

But the European Commission declared in November that it would suspend inclusion of intercontinental flights from the trading system for a year, in view of efforts to reach a broader agreement on countering emissions.

China Southern's A330s will be delivered from 2014 to 2016, the airline says.

It adds that the acquisition will be partly funded by internal resources and partly financed through commercial bank loans.