China Southern Group Unveils Massive Fleet Additions, Speaks Out Against US Protectionism

Mar 27, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The China aviation market is growing rapidly. Boeing recently estimated that Chinese airlines are going to purchase more than $1 trillion in aircraft in the next 20 years. That equates to a mind-blowing 6,810 new aircraft, or more than 340 new aircraft per year.

And one airline group is certainly doing its part to make these numbers a reality. As unveiled in corporate reporting Monday, China Southern Group is expected to take delivery of 309 aircraft by the end of 2020. That consists of:

Deliveries 2018 2019 2020 Total
Boeing 737-800 61 45 51 157
Airbus A320 family 39 42 24 105
Boeing 787-9 10 7 5 22
Airbus A330-300 5 5
Airbus A350-900 6 6 12
Boeing 777-300ER 5 3 8
Total 115 105 89 309

That’s a huge number, and especially impressive considering China Southern Group’s fleet ended 2017 with 754 aircraft. Members in the group consist of China Southern Airlines and its affiliate airlines: Chengdu Airlines, China Postal Airlines, Chongqing Airlines, Hebei Airlines, Jiangxi Air, Sichuan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines.

And unlike some airlines, which are aggressively ordering new aircraft to retire older planes, China Southern’s fleet is already pretty modern. The average age of all aircraft tracked by AirFleets.net is just 7.1 years.

As a point of comparison, American Airlines has the youngest fleet of the US majors and it’s average fleet age is 10.3 years. Alaska is at 7.7 years and Delta is one of the oldest in the US at 16.8 years. And, China Southern’s average age is only going to drop as these 309 aircraft are added to the fleet.

And for reference of the scale of 309 new aircraft, British Airways has only 268 aircraft in its entire global operations — albeit with a higher average capacity than the single-aisle aircraft China Southern has on order.

Record Profits, Strong Words

This massive fleet addition was unveiled in earnings report on Monday in which the airline reported a 17% increase in profits. The airline group set a new record in 2017 with RMB 5.91 billion (US$942 million) in profit.

But, the airline is afraid that US tariffs and protectionism policies might endanger that. In the earnings announcement Monday morning, China Southern Group’s Chairman Wang Changshun made his stance clear:

This kind of (US) policy does not benefit people in China or the US, or the healthy development of enterprises in both countries. We firmly advocate any decision the Chinese government makes and hope US companies can make suggestions to their government.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.