Air China has agreed to purchase 20 Airbus A320 aircraft for delivery between 2011 and 2014.

The Chinese carrier has disclosed the agreement in a stock exchange statement. It says that the deal was concluded with Airbus today.

Air China gives the basic price of the aircraft as $1.6 billion but states that the airframer has granted "significant price concessions".

Acquisition of the twin-jets, it adds, will increase its fleet capacity by 5% from its end-2009 level.

"In particular, the transaction will mainly support hub-building in Chengdu and expand the fleet capacity of the company in southwestern China while supplementing, to an appropriate extent, the flights in eastern China," says the airline.

No engine selection has been given. The carrier's current A320-family fleet includes a mix of International Aero Engines V2500-powered and CFM International CFM56-powered aircraft.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news