China Eastern expects to take delivery of the latest batch of A320s the carrier has ordered between 2012 and 2015.
The airline notified the Hong Kong stock market on December 30 of its plan to acquire 50 of the Airbus narrowbodies in a deal valued at $3.2 billion (according to 2005 list prices).
China Eastern, which already operates more than 120 Airbus A320-family aircraft, says the additional units will be used to “further enhance the route coverage” of the airline and meet added demand. Its capacity measured in available seat kilometers is set to increase 14.4% with the acquisition, not counting potential disposals of older A320s.
The deal, if it makes it into the Airbus 2010 order book, should assure the aircraft maker has a positive book-to-build ratio (in terms of gross orders), even though several weeks ago the manufacturer was still expecting deliveries to surpass new order intake.