China Southern Airlines is to acquire 80 Airbus A320-family aircraft including 50 of the re-engined A320neo jets.
The carrier is also to dispose of six Embraer ERJ-145 regional aircraft.
China Southern has not given an engine selection for the A320s or A320neos.
It says the aircraft will be delivered in stages over the course of 2016-20.
China Southern has not given the value of the transaction, stating that Airbus has “insisted” on preserving confidentiality regarding the price.
But the current catalogue prices of the aircraft would put the overall list value at around $8 billion.
“The consideration will be partly payable by cash and partly by financing arrangements with banking institutions,” the airline adds.
China Southern says the order will “facilitate the strategic change and the internationalisation of the company”. The carrier adds that it has entered an aircraft disposal agreement, with Airbus as the purchaser, covering six ERJ-145s as well as spare engines and parts.