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PICTURES: China Eastern becomes first Chinese Airbus A330-300 carrier

China Eastern Airlines has become the first mainland Chinese carrier to operate the Airbus A330-300 widebody twin, following a delivery ceremony yesterday. The aircraft is pictured below in Toulouse.

China Eastern A330-300 01

Photos © Airbus / H Goussé

China Eastern A330-300 02

The Shanghai-based carrier, which has a mixed fleet including Airbus, Boeing and Antonov types, will operate the Rolls-Royce Trent 700-powered A330-300, in a 300-seat, two-class configuration.

“These new A330-300s will be used to replace the A300-600 aircraft in our current fleet,” said Luo Chaogeng, China Eastern president. The aircraft will operate mainly on the carrier’s regional routes within East Asia, he added. ”The introduction of the new aircraft will speed up the modernisation of our Airbus fleet and help us open new routes on the international market,” he says.

"The introduction of the first A330-300 into China marks a new achievement in our 20 years of close cooperation with China Eastern Airlines," said Gustav Humbert, Airbus president.

Airbus has studied creating an assembly line for the narrowbody A320 family in China. The news follows a 150-aircraft bulk order from the Chinese government on behalf of several carriers.

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