Airbus has been having runaway success in the single aisle category with its A320 family planes garnering a lion’s share of the market. The recent deals worth $15 billion is due the booming asian market with the Chinese carriers Qingdao Airlines and Zhejiang Loong Airlines along with BOC Aviation and Vietnamese operator Vietjet placing a combined order of 160 planes.
Vietjet, the only private airline in Vietnam that flies internationally, has been flying since December 2011 with a fleet of nine jets including the fuel-saving A320 with “Sharklet” wingtips. It is the only private airline in Vietnam that offers domestic and international flights. The deals, once confirmed, will bring Airbus beyond the 1,000 aircraft order book. This is already equivalent of the number that the company had predicted to achieve this year. Till date in 2013, Airbus has already secured 942 firm orders, which includes Lion Air Inc.’s purchase of 234 jets. Vietjet intends to buy 42 re-engined A320neos, 14 current-model A320s, six A321 and additional 30 options.
Qingdao Airlines, a startup private carrier in China has placed order to purchase 23 A320s which will consist of 5 current-model A320 and 18 re-engined A320neos. Zhejiang Loong Airlines, which is an another new private entrant in this space, intends to buy 11 A320 and 9 A320neos valued at $1.9 billion.
Airbus has been betting big on the strong growth in the aviation sector in the Asian markets. With its assembly operations in China gaining momentum, it hopes to be able to capitalise on being a leading player. In order to deal with surging traffic on shorter but busier routes, the company launched a de-rated version of its popular A330 which will help carriers to carry more people on routes where landing slots are becoming a precious commodity.