China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) has signed a general terms agreement (GTA) with Airbus for the purchase of 140 aircraft.

Comprising 100 A320 Family aircraft and 40 A350 XWB Family aircraft, this agreement was signed in Berlin, Germany, by Airbus CEO Tom Enders and and CAS executive vice-president Sun Bo in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Enders said: “This is a great endorsement for our leading products in both single-aisle and wide-body segments.

“China is today one of the world’s most important markets for aviation, and we are honoured to support the development and rapid growth of China’s civil aviation with our competitive product portfolio.”

With traffic expected to increase at 4.4% a year, the passenger aircraft fleet with over 100 seats is set to more than double in the next two decades to more than 40,000 planes.

“This is a great endorsement for our leading products in both single-aisle and wide-body segments."

According to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2017-2036, emerging markets such as China will continue to be driver for growth.

By the end of last month, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators reached 1,440 aircraft, of which almost 1,230 are A320 Family planes.

The single-aisle product line has so far secured more than 13,000 orders and over 7,600 aircraft have been delivered to 400 customers and operators worldwide.

The family offers aircraft in four sizes and can seat between 100 and 240 passengers.

Besides featuring the latest aerodynamic design and materials, including carbon-fibre fuselage and wings, the A320 Family is powered by new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. It reduces 25% fuel burn and emissions, thereby leading to decreased maintenance costs.