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All-Boeing operator XiamenAir turns to rival Airbus

Xiamen, China - China's XiamenAir, formerly Xiamen Airlines, is turning to rival Airbus. The airline, which has operated only Boeing's jetliners since its launch in 1984, invites bids from leasing companies to add 10 A321neo jets to its all-Boeing fleet.

The majority stake of XiamenAir is owned by the state-run carrier China Southern Airlines. The airline is planning to start receiving A321neos from the second half of next year. The last aircraft is expected to join the fleet in 2023.

The company has been in talks with Airbus for a while as the trade wars between China and the U.S. intoxicated relations of Boeing with the Chinese airline operators.

Boeing's deliveries slumped to 380 aircraft in 2019 while rival Airbus delivered 863 aircraft during the same period. Last week Malaysia Airlines announced that it suspended the acquisition of 737 MAX jets on delivery line for this year.

Also read: Malaysia Airlines suspends deliveries of 25 737 MAX jets on order

XiamenAir is an all-Boeing operator with more than 170 Boeing jets in its fleet, including the 787 Dreamliners.

The Chinese government splits orders between the two aircraft manufacturers to meet its rapid ambitious expansion plans in civil aviation.

40 A321neo for China Aircraft Leasing

On the other hand, another Chinese company China Aircraft Leasing has placed an order for 40 Airbus A321neo jets that will be delivered to the lessor until 2026.

We see an enormous market appetite for this single-aisle aircraft with lower operational cost, and the order is in line with our portfolio strategy of investing in the most in-demand modern technology aircraft with unbeatable fuel efficiency,” Chief executive

Mike Poon said.

Moreover, the continuous and consistent order is the driving force behind CALC’s sustainable business growth. Not only does a strong order book strengthen the group’s ability to provide our airline clients with one-stop fleet upgrade services, it is also an important asset to reinforce our leadership in the global aviation market,

Poon added.

The Chinese lessor has just taken delivery of two Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets directly from its order book with Boeing. The planes marked a milestone in the company's business strategy as they are the first widebody aircraft in the lessor's portfolio.

The 787s were converted from an earlier order placed for 737 MAX jets.

Also read: Hong Kong's CALC to add two Boeing 787