Airbus Agrees to Sell 300 Aircraft to China, Rivaling Boeing Deal
26 Mar, 2019
On March 25, Airbus signed a deal worth tens of billions of dollars to sell 300 aircraft to China, coinciding with a visit to Europe by Chinese President Xi Jinping and matching a China record held by U.S. rival Boeing.
Reuters reports that the deal between Airbus and China’s state buying agency, China Aviation Supplies Holding Company, which regularly coordinates headline-grabbing deals during diplomatic visits, will include 290 A320-family jets and 10 A350 wide-body jets.French officials said the deal was worth some 30 billion euros.
The larger-than-expected order, which matches an order for 300 Boeing planes when U.S. Donald Trump visited Beijing in 2017, follows a year-long vacuum of purchases in which China failed to place significant orders amid global trade tensions.
It also comes as the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX has left uncertainty over Boeing’s immediate hopes for a major jet order as the result of any warming of U.S.-China trade ties.
There was no evidence of any direct connection between the Airbus deal and Sino-U.S. tensions or Boeing fleet problems, Reuters reported, but China watchers say Beijing has a history of sending diplomatic signals or playing off suppliers through state aircraft deals.
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