Flight International online news 09:00GMT: China Southern Airlines has placed a follow-on order with Airbus for 10 more A330 widebodies for delivery in 2007 and 2008.

Airbus A330-200 BiG
Airbus A330-200                                                                                     

Airbus says the agreement was signed in Beijing this morning at a ceremony overseen by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and UK prime minister Tony Blair. Blair is in Beijing for an EU-China summit. The agreement comprises eight A330-300s and two A330-200s, Airbus adds.

China Southern president Si Xianmin is quoted in the statement as saying: “As the largest carrier in China, we are planning to expand our business both domestically and internationally. The selection of 10 additional A330s will definitely increase our capability and flexibility in the flight operation, especially in the domestic trunk and regional routes.”

Guangzhou-based China Southern currently operates four A330-200s, which it ordered in 2003 and took delivery of this year. It was the first Chinese carrier to commit to the twinjet type with its initial four-aircraft order, although since then Air China and China Eastern Airlines have both placed A330 orders of their own. All three carriers have also ordered Boeing 787s, as have several other Chinese airlines.

No engine selection is specified in the Airbus statement. China Southern selected Trent 700 powerplants in its earlier A330 order, as did both Air China and China Eastern.



Source: Flight International