China Aviation Supplies has placed a firm order for 43 Airbus A320s and 27 A330s during a state visit by China’s president Xi Jinping to France.

The mix of variants ordered and engine selections were not announced. Nevertheless, Airbus says that the A330 order is for ‘long range’ aircraft rather than its proposed A330 regional variant.

Airbus has been pitching a lower gross-weight A330 as a solution to airport congestion issues for Chinese carriers looking to boost domestic capacity.

The order also coincided with Airbus and its Chinese partners signing a separate agreement to extend the life of its Final Assembly Line China, located in Tianjin, out to 2025.

The order had been expected for some time, and has been delayed due to objections from Beijing to the European Union’s emissions trading scheme. A recent moratorium on that scheme now appears to have opened the way for it to proceed.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that, prior to the latest order, China Aviation Supplies had one A319 and two A320s in its backlog.

Source: Cirium Dashboard