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China Southern to Buy 45 Aircraft from Boeing, Airbus
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China Southern Airlines announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to purchase 45 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus.


China Southern said it would buy 20 A320s from Airbus and 25 B737-800 aircraft from Boeing at a total cost of 23.5 billion yuan (US$3.69 billion).


The market price for A320s ranges from 66.5 million to 85.9 million US dollars, but the airline said the real purchase price would be lower.


The Boeing aircraft costs 70.5 million to 79 million US dollars, and China Southern said it would be able to buy the planes at a discount.


The airline said the A320s would be delivered between March 2009 and August 2010, while Boeing would deliver the B737-800s between July 2011 and November 2013 to the Xiamen Airlines, in which China Southern holds a 60-percent stake.


The airline said it would finance the purchase with its own capital and bank loans, though no agreement has been reached yet with banks.


The purchase would increase its operating capacity by about 19.5 percent, according to China Southern, one of the three largest Chinese carriers along with Air China and China Eastern Airlines.


The company carried 49.21 million passengers in 2006, making it the only carrier on the Chinese mainland among the world's top 10 passenger transport airlines, according to its website.


(Xinhua News Agency July 11, 2007)


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