Hainan Airlines will receive 20 of the 45 A330s the Chinese government has ordered from Airbus, in return for Airbus setting up an A330 completion centre, according to Chinese media reports. China Aviation Supplies—an agency falling under the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) — that buys aircraft in bulk for China’s commercial airlines, has also allocated 15 of the aircraft to China Eastern (which has 43 A330s already in service), five to Tibet Airlines and five to Sichuan Airlines, according to reports.
Hainan Airlines is China’s fourth-largest carrier and has been very active in opening new routes, including long, thin ones for which A330-200s are most suited. Hainan Airlines currently operates 20 A330s, with three more on order before counting its allocation from the bulk acquisition. Some may join the fleets of Hainan Airlines’ subsidiaries and affiliates.
Airbus confirmed in early July that it would set up an A330 completion centre at Tianjin. Beginning in 2017, Airbus will send flyable, but incomplete A330s to the plant for installation of cabins, painting, testing and delivery.