Air China says no change in Airbus orders

Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:58am EDT
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By Alison Leung

HONG KONG/TAIPEI (Reuters) - Air China Ltd (0753.HK: Quote)(601111.SS: Quote) has not cut or cancelled any Airbus EAD.PA orders and is sticking to the delivery plan for the aircraft, it said on Thursday, adding that it plans to expand capacity.

China has suspended the purchase of a total 55 Airbus EAD.PA jets, including 45 long-haul A330s and 10 Airbus A380 superjumbos worth a total of $14 billion amid a trade row over European Union airline emissions charges.

"The stand of our central government is consistent, that is to oppose firmly the EU's unilateral move to impose a carbon tax. The attitude of Air China is the same as our government," Wang Changshun, chairman of the national flag carrier, told reporters at a results briefing.

"Until now I have not received any formal information," Wang said when asked if Air China had cancelled any Airbus orders.

Air China would stick to its plan to take delivery of 35 new aircraft this year, including 14 A320/A310 and 6 A330 from Airbus, board secretary Rao Xinyu said.

The company called for negotiations to resolve a row over the European Union carbon scheme.

"We hope the EU can conduct bilateral talks with the Chinese government to solve the dispute," Wang said.

The row is over a cap-and-trade scheme which could levy charges for carbon emissions for flights into and out of Europe. The scheme has angered countries including China, India and the United States.   Continued...

Air China planes pass each other on the tarmac and runway at Beijing International Airport February 6, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray