January 16, 2020 / 2:27 PM / a month ago

China's Xiamen Airlines, a Boeing operator, looks to bring Airbus jets in its fleet

FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows China Southern Airlines and Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft at Boeing facilities at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, September 16, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Xiamen Airlines, a long-time Boeing (BA.N) operator, is looking to bring 10 Airbus (AIR.PA) A321neo aircraft to its fleet, as the carrier grapples with the financial impact from the 737 MAX grounding and persistent trade uncertainties.

The carrier, a subsidiary of state-owned China Southern Airlines (600029.SS), is inviting leasing companies to bid to supply these jets, which are to be delivered from the second half of 2021 to 2023, the Chinese airline said in a statement on its website.

The announcement deals another setback to the U.S. manufacturer, whose best-selling model Boeing 737 MAX remained grounded for about 10 months, following two fatal crashes that killed a total of 346 people. The protracted trade war between Washington and Beijing also weighed on bilateral trade.

Boeing on Tuesday reported its worst annual net orders in decades along with its lowest numbers for plane deliveries in 11 years, as the grounding of its 737 MAX jet saw it fall far behind main competitor Airbus.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Brenda Goh; Editing by Alex Richardson

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