China Aviation Supplies Import & Export Group Corporation (CASGC) has announced its decision to acquire 23 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. The announcement was made in Beijing at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People attended by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

“CASGC has enjoyed an excellent cooperative relationship with Airbus for many years. Through our joint efforts, Airbus can provide more modern and economic aviation products to Chinese airlines, while CASGC can offer high quality and value-added services to Chinese airlines,“ CASGC President Li Hai said.

“Airbus considers China as a very strategic and important market,” said Gustav Humbert, Airbus Chief Operating Officer.

The Airbus A320 Family is the world's fastest selling single-aisle product range, made up of the A318, A319, A320 and A321. A320 Family aircraft are chosen by more than 160 customers and operators around the world, including many in Asia, with a market share of orders of around 60 per cent for the year 2004 so far. Firm orders for the Airbus A320 Family stand at more than 3,200 aircraft in total, of which some 2,300 have been delivered to date.

The A320 Family is the acknowledged technological leader in its category, with advanced features such as fuel-saving wingtip fences, weight-saving composites, and the reliability that comes from its modern design and ease of maintenance. It also consistently leads in independent passenger and operator surveys.

Airbus’ business in China has been steadily expanding since it first entered the country in 1985. The Airbus fleet in service in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao has grown to more than 260 today from just 29 in 1995. A training and support centre, which represents a US$80 million investment by Airbus, is fully operational in Beijing. Five Chinese companies are involved in producing parts for Airbus aircraft.