Here is China Southern's Official Press Release which I received from their int'l public relations senior advisor:
GUANGZHOU, China - September 29, 2003 - China Southern Airlines (NYSE
: ZNH) (HKSE
: 1055), the largest airline in the People’s Republic of China today held a purchase signing ceremony to purchase four new Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Beginning in 2005, four ultra-modern Airbus A330-200 aircraft will be added to the growing China Southern fleet – already the nation’s largest - and the airline will be the launch customer of this aircraft type in The People’s Republic of China. Terms of the agreement was not announced.
“The signing of the agreement today is an important event for both China Southern and Airbus,” said Mr. Liu Ming Qi, Executive Vice President, China Southern Air Holding Company and Vice Chairman, China Southern Airlines.
It has been six years since China Southern Airlines began operating its Airbus fleet of now 20 A320 aircraft and according to Mr. Liu, “we have overcome some initial challenges but are more and more familiar with and comfortable to be an Airbus customer. The quality, meticulous attention to detail and after-sales service offered by Airbus has renewed our confidence in moving forward in this important air transportation endeavor.”
Flying 253 passengers in a three-class cabin layout up to 6,650 nm/12,300km, the Airbus A330-200 aircraft is powered by General Electric CF6-80E, Pratt & Whitney PW4000 or Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines. The Airbus A330-200 aircraft has a maximum range of 12,000km.
In attendance at the Purchase Agreement Signing Ceremony was Mr. John Leaphy, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus and officials from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
In his statement, Mr. Liu said, “the young and state-of-the-art aircraft fleet has always been one of the important factors that motivate our customer to fly on China Southern Airlines. The A330 is one of the several well-received types of long-range and wide-body aircraft that our airline will operate and is part of our continued modernization and aviation leadership role in China.”
Mr. Liu said, “We are proud to be the launch customer of the Airbus A330-200 in China and the successful operator of the nation’s largest A320 fleet. The invaluable experience in the A320 operation will help us to be successful in the operation of the new A330.”
“’Having a new baby and making a big fortune’ are two of the most important events for the people of China. The four A330-200 aircraft will be four newborn babies in the China Southern Airlines’ family,” added Mr. Liu.