European plane maker Airbus has announced that three Chinese companies have ordered a total of 68 A320 aircraft.
The Business Spectator reports that the three companies involved are Qingdao Airlines which will purchase 23 aircraft; BOC Aviation which ordered 25 planes; and Zhejiang Loong Airlines which will purchase 20.
The news comes as air travel is becoming more popular amongst China’s expanding middle class. In fact, in 2012 the number of passenger trips made rose by nine per cent compared with the previous year (to 320 million).
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Vietnam's VietJet has agreed to a $9 billion Airbus order.
The low-cost airline agreed a provisional order for up to 92 Airbus (EAD.PA) jets as it continues to expand and make its mark in that regional market.
VietJet, which is Vietnam's first privately-owned airline said it would buy mostly A320 aircraft. The purchases will be financed by a planned stock market listing as well as loans from foreign banks backed by export credits.
According to Airbus’ annual industry forecast which was released on Tuesday, the Asia-Pacific is expected to overtake Europe and North America as the region with the greatest volume of air traffic by 2032.
In the report, the airline predicted that, over the coming 20 years, there will be demand for 29,000 new commercial planes. This will come mainly from emerging markets like Brazil, China and India.
Image: Bell Murray Aerospace