Shanghai Airlines has signed a contract with Airbus for the purchase of five A321s at the Zhuhai Airshow, making it a new Airbus customer and positioning the airline to become the 11th A320 family operator on the Chinese Mainland. The five A321s are part of the 150 A320 family aircraft ordered under the General Terms Agreement (GTA) signed between Airbus and China Aviation Supplies Import and Export Group Corporation (CASGC) in December 2005, when the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited France. ?The introduction of Airbus A320 Family aircraft is to meet our strategic development plan,? said Mr. Zhou Chi, President of Shanghai Airlines. ?After twenty years of rapid and steady development, Shanghai Airlines is entering into the new phase of expanding internationally and comprehensively. By selecting the world leading A320 Family aircraft, we can increase our operational flexibility with an expanded and diversified fleet to meet different market demands.? Founded in 1985, Shanghai Airlines currently operates a fleet of 48 aircraft with a network connecting over 60 major cities in China and abroad. ?I am delighted to welcome Shanghai Airlines as a new Airbus customer. This decision once more reflects the value of the leading Airbus Single Aisle Family on the market, be it in China or in the rest of the world, and the high level of commitments ensures work for many years at high production rates,? said Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer, and EADS co-CEO, Louis Gallois. With almost 50 million flight hours to date, more than 4,400 aircraft ordered and 2,800 delivered to some 180 operators, the A318, A319, A320 and A321 make up the world's best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. Designed to optimise revenue through cabin adaptability and passenger comfort and featuring the most modern and complete fly-by-wire technology available on any single-aisle aircraft, they ensure savings in every element of direct operating cost and provide operators with the highest degree of operational commonality and economy for aircraft in the 100-220 seat category. Production rates are being increased to reach 34 per month in 2007, not including the aircraft to be assembled in China, and in view of the very high backlog of around 1,600 aircraft will continue to run at high levels for the next four years at least. By the end of September 2006, 10 operators on the Chinese Mainland operated 249 A320 family aircraft, accounting for over 80% of the total Airbus in-service fleet in China. Airbus is an EADS company.