New Chinese carrier Zhejiang Loong Airlines has signed its first order with Airbus, for 11 A320ceo and nine A320neo jets.
The order from Zhejiang Loong Airlines ‒ which is based in Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province in Eastern China ‒ follows a memorandum of understanding signed by the airline on September 25 at the Beijing Airshow.
In addition, Zhejiang Loong Airlines has become the newest Airbus operator in mainland China, having completed its maiden commercial flight with a leased Airbus A320.
“Today is a special day for Zhejiang Loong Airlines as we start passenger operation and order 20 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, which demonstrates our ambition to contribute to the economic and social development of Zhejiang province by providing efficient transportation,” said Liu Qihong, chairman of Zhejiang Loong Airlines.
“We are making efforts to play a more important role in building the four-hour transportation circle around Hangzhou, which is advocated by the Zhejiang Government,” said Liu. “The Airbus A320 Family aircraft is ideal for us to achieve our goals with advantages in operational reliability, economics, cabin space and its commonality between different types of Airbus aircraft.”
The A320neo is offered as an option for the Airbus A320 family and incorporates new more efficient engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 per cent in fuel savings compared with existing A320-family jets, according to Airbus.
At the end of November 2013, firm orders for the Airbus A320neo family stood at 2,523 aircraft from 45 customers, which makes it the fastest-selling commercial airliner ever, according to Airbus.
To date, more than 10,000 Airbus A320-family aircraft have been ordered and some 5,850 delivered, to around 395 customers and operators worldwide.