Air Canada To Add Ex-China Southern Airbus A320 To Its Fleet

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  • Air Canada to receive ex-China Southern A320, part of fleet growth plan. Testing complete, to join as C-FDGQ soon.
  • Aviator Capital has over 120 aircraft orders through 2028, valued at $2.5 billion leasing to 65+ customers globally.
  • Air Canada plans to receive A320s, A220s, A321s, and widebody aircraft like 787-9s in 2024, no more narrowbodies until 2025.

Air Canada is expanding its fleet of A320 aircraft and will likely take delivery of an Ex-China Southern Airbus A320 in the coming days. The aircraft, owned by Aviator Capitol, is currently in storage at Larnaca International Airport (LCA) in Cyprus.

The aircraft, an 18-year-old A320-200, MSN 2770, was originally operated by China Southern Airways up until December 2023. After spending a month on the ground in Guangzhou (CAN), the aircraft was flown to LCA on January 6th via a four-hour stop in Dhaka (DAC).

After spending three months on the ground conducting maintenance work at Cyprus-based Bird Aviation, a part 145 maintenance repair and overhaul facility, before being transferred to Air Canada. The aircraft recently flew again using a test registration on March 16th. That flight lasted a little over two hours and brought the aircraft to 39’000 ft of altitude.

China Southern Airlines queried the ban. Photo: lasta29 via Wikimedia Commons

Air Canada confirmed that the aircraft is expected in its fleet as C-FDGQ. The aircraft will be one of two leased from Aviator Capital that the airline will add in 2024. The lessor did not respond to Simple Flying inquiry.

The lessor itself had orders and purchase commitments for more than 120 aircraft through 2028, according to a financial statement. These deliveries required more than 6.2 million dollars of withstanding payments in the next four years. Aviator Capital has over 100 aircraft on lease to more than 65 customers worldwide, valued at $2.5 billion, according to the lessor’s website.

The other aircraft Air Canada is expecting to receive was formerly from Alaska Airlines. According to the airline’s fleet growth plan, Air Canada will operate at least 21 of the aircraft types by the end of 2024.

Air Canada fleet growth

This will be the first ex-China Southern Airways A320 to join the Air Canada fleet. The airline received six A320s from 2002 and 2003 from Airbus, with more joining the fleet in 2012 and 2015 that came from previous operators.

Besides the A320s, Air Canada is also expecting at least two A220s, as well as two A321s. While the airline adds both the A320 and A220, Air Canada is also expecting to retire two of its smaller A319s in 2024.

Air Canada Rouge A320 On Approach
Photo: Minh K tran/Shutterstock

While the airline adds four narrowbody aircraft for 2020, most of the airline’s growth is expected to be widebody aircraft. In total, Air Canada expects five widebodies to be delivered in 2024, including two 787-9s, one A330-300s, and two 767-300 freighters.

As of its last fleet report, Air Canada won’t be expecting to take delivery of another narrowbody until 2025, when it will receive five 737 MAX 8s and four A321XLRs. The airline, however, recently placed an order for the larger 737 MAX 10.

China Southern, for its part, has received three 737 MAX 8s and three A320 Neos so far in 2024. The last A320-200 neo received was delivered to the airline on February 5th in factory new condition. That carrier has a fleet of at least 149 A320s in total.

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