Xiamen Airlines, which previously was an exclusively Boeing operator, received its first Airbus aircraft, an A321neo on December 31, 2022. The carrier ordered 40 A320neo family aircraft in September 2022.
The narrow-body jet, registered as B-32CU, was delivered from Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport (XFW), where an Airbus Final Assembly Line (FAL) is located. The aircraft departed the German airport on December 31, 2022, arriving at Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN) on January 1, 2023, following a fuel stop at Tashkent International Airport (TAS), in Uzbekistan.
Previously, Xiamen Airlines had a Boeing-only fleet. The airline has 150 Boeing 737s (including 22 parked 737 MAX-8s) and 12 Boeing 787 aircraft. Another 25 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft associated with the airline have had their first flights and are awaiting delivery to the Chinese carrier, per planespotters.net data.
The Boeing 737 MAX is yet to be ungrounded in China following the second fatal crash of the type in Ethiopia in March 2019.
Meanwhile, Airbus has begun assembling A321s in its Tianjin FAL, China, in November 2022. The location before had only been capable of building the smaller variants of the A320 family, including the A320, the A319, and the A318. The added production capacity will bolster Airbus’ ability to deliver its most-popular aircraft family to local customers, as well as strengthen its global production rate.
The European manufacturer aims to build 75 A320 family aircraft globally per month by 2025.