Chinese place a third of Airbus A320 orders at Farnborough Airshow

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 July, 2014, 2:57am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 July, 2014, 2:57am

Chinese aircraft lessors accounted for close to a third of the US$39 billion worth of orders Airbus got for its popular narrow-body family of A320s at the Farnborough International Airshow, where the aircraft manufacturer garnered a record US$496 billion of business.

Hong Kong Aviation Capital, a Hong Kong-based aircraft leasing company held by HNA Group - parent of Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express - and Tianjin Bohai Leasing, yesterday signed up to buy 70 A320neo family aircraft worth US$7.7 billion.

This follows an order on Wednesday for 43 A320 planes from BOC Aviation, the offshore aircraft leasing subsidiary of Bank of China based in Singapore. The deal is estimated to be worth more than US$4 billion.

Aircraft from the A320 family, including the A320neo variants, are Airbus' best-selling product in the single-aisle market. BOC Aviation had already ordered 38 A320s in the last 18 months.

Airbus got 363 orders for the A320, including 317 for the A320neo and A321neo worth US$34.4 billion at the aviation industry's biennial fair this year.

Chinese aircraft lessors are playing an increasingly important role in the country's rapidly growing commercial aircraft leasing market. The mainland's five largest lenders plus policy bank China Development Bank joined the competition since 2007 when the China Banking Regulatory Commission allowed the creation of bank-owned aircraft leasing companies.

CDB Leasing and ICBC Leasing are the largest Chinese lessors, each accounting for about 8 per cent of China's aircraft operating lease market.

Hong Kong Aviation Capital, which could not be reached for comment, said on its website that it provides financing leasing services to airlines. It is the first time it placed an order with any manufacturer, according to Airbus.