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China needs time to warm to A380: President of Airbus China

04-07-2011 15:44 BJT

Chinese airlines will need some time before they start to warm to the Airbus A380 super jumbo, Reuters reported Thursday, quoting Airbus's China head.

"Chinese airlines historically have not been very enthusiastic about buying a product early in the programme," Laurence Barron, president of Airbus China, told an aviation conference.

"It will take some time for the Chinese airlines to really understand what a great aircraft it is," he said of the A380.

Barron said he saw an impact on airlines from the introduction of high-speed railway lines in China, especially on the Beijing to Shanghai route, it reported. A high-speed train linking the two major Chinese cities is set to start operating in June.

This might put pressure on airlines to expand their international routes, boding well for A380 sales.

So far, China Southern Airlines Co Ltd, the country's largest carrier by fleet size, is the only Chinese airline to have ordered the A380.

China Southern has ordered five A380s and said last month that it expected to take delivery of the first in August, according to the report.

"We continue to see strong traffic growth in China driven very largely by domestic travel, while international traffic is also growing very steadily as well," Barron told reporters in an interview.

China is expected to buy more than 2,000 aircraft over the next five year. Boeing, which has about half of the China market, said last month it sealed deals worth $10 billion with two airlines in China.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: China Daily

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