Qingdao Airlines, a newly established airline based in the Eastern Chinese coastal city of Qingdao, Shandong Province, has selected the best-selling Airbus A320 Family aircraft to build up its fleet.
The airline has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for a total of 23 A320 Family aircraft, including five A320ceo and 18 A320neo. The agreement was signed by He Li, director of the Board of Qingdao Airlines and John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers at the 15th Aviation Expo China 2013 in Beijing. The deal is subject to approval from China’s central government. The first delivery is expected to begin in 2016. The airline will start operation in 2014 with leased A320 aircraft.
“As a newly established airline, we need to have a thourough research before we make a decision on what aircraft to introduce to start operation and build up our brand new fleet. We pay much attention to the reliability, economics and cabin comfort of the aircraft and also take the potential for our further fleet expansion into consideration. We believe the Airbus A320 Family aircraft are the right choice,” said Xiao Liyuan, President of Qingdao Airlines. .
“We welcome Qingdao Airlines as a new member of the big Airbus family,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “The selection of the Airbus A320 Family by Qingdao Airlines proves again the preference of the market for our efficient single aisle aircraft. With a proven track record of operational reliability and the lowest operational costs in its class, the Airbus A320 will play a key role in Qingdao Airlines’ sustainable development.”
The A320neo is offered as an option for the A320 Family and incorporates new more efficient engines and large "Sharklet" wing tip devices, which together will deliver up to 15 percent in fuel savings. At the end of August 2013, firm orders for the NEO stood at 2,348 from 42 customers, making it the fastest selling commercial airliner ever and underlining its market leadership position.
The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. To date, more than to 9,800 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered and over 5,700 delivered to nearly 390 customers and operators worldwide.