China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Air China have today signed agreements with Airbus covering orders for a combined 292 A320neo aircraft.

The planned orders, which still require formal shareholder approval, were disclosed by China’s ‘big three’ carriers today in a series of stock exchange announcements.

China Eastern Airlines A320neo at Guangzhou Airport

Source: Markus Mainka/

China Eastern has signed to take 100 A320neos, aircraft it says will be for both renewal and expansion.

The airline is set to take 28 aircraft in 2024, 31 in 2025, 34 in 2026 and seven in 2027.

China Southern has signed to purchase 96 A320neos. The carrier will take the bulk of these in 2024 and 2025, at 30 and 40 units respectively. A further 19 will follow in 2026 and the remaining seven in 2027.

Air China meanwhile has signed an agreement to buy 64 A320neos from Airbus, while its Shenzhen Airlines unit will take 32 of the type.

Deliveries of these aircraft are expected from next year through to 2027.

Airbus says the orders will enter its backlog once the relevant criteria are ment. Airbus chief commercial officer Christian Scherer says: ”These new orders demonstrate the strong confidence in Airbus from our customers.”

All three carriers are existing customers for both A320neo-family aircraft and Boeing 737 Max jets. 

Cirium fleets data shows China Eastern has 59 A320neos in service, 10 more in storage and a further 11 on order. It also has six 737 Max 8s order.

China Southern is listed by Cirium as operating 50 A321neos, 38 A320neos and three A319neos. It also three A321neos and one A320neo in storage, and a further A321neo on order.

The airline also has 24 Boeing 737 Max 8s currently in storage and a further 34 on order.

Cirium shows Air China has 46 A320neos, all but one of which is in service, and a further three on order. It also has 25 A321neos in services, one in storage and two more on order. It also has 16 Max 8s parked and a further 21 of the Boeing jet on order.