Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing (CALC) has committed to purchase 36 of Airbus's A320 aircraft at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow currently taking place in the UK.
The $3.1bn deal includes eight A321 aircraft, the largest member in the A320 line, and has options that will allow operators to choose the company's new fuel saving Sharklets.
CALC CEO Mike Poon said: "This sizeable aircraft order will lay the foundation for CALC to achieve our ambition to become a major aircraft lessor in the region."
Powered by Pratt & Whitney's PW1100G PurePower engines or CFM International's LEAP engines, the A320 aircraft line offers 95% airframe commonality with existing models.
The 2.5m tall Sharklets are large wingtip devices, which help reduce fuel consumption by nearly 3.5%, which cuts 1,000t of CO2 emissions annually for each aircraft.
According to Airbus, Sharklets will also increase the payload-range of the A320 aircraft line and enhance their take-off performance.
In order to meet the rising demand for the A320s, Airbus is planning to increase its output rate to 42 aircraft a month during the fourth quarter of this year.
CALC currently operates a fleet of 11 Airbus aircraft, comprising five A320s, five A321s and one A330, along with three A330s and five A320s aircraft on order.
Airbus has sold more than 8,500 of its A320 aircraft and delivered more than 5,100 to some 365 global customers and operators to date.
Image: The addition of 36 new aircraft will increase the CALC's fleet to more than 50 aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Airbus.