Airbus Strikes EUR 30 Billion Jet Purchase Deal with China during Xi’s Visit in France

Airbus Strikes EUR 30 Billion Jet Purchase Deal with China during Xi’s Visit in France

The large-scale deal of the European aircraft producer with China is deemed a blow to its American competitor Boeing.

European aircraft-making giant Airbus has secured a massive purchase order for China during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit in France, with Chinese airlines signing up buy 300 jets worth some EUR 30 billion, according to reports.

Chinese leader Xi is on a mini-tour in Europe, which raised many eyebrows in the West as Italy became the first G-7, EU heavyweight, and major Western power to join his Belt and Road Initiative.

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Xi in France on Sunday while seeking to promote EU unity in dealings with China.

China Aviation Supplies Holding Company will buy a total of 300 Airbus jets, including 290 A320 planes, and ten A350 XWB jets, the European aircraft producer announced.

While the total price of the purchase deal has not been revealed, there are reports it is worth EUR 30 billion (USD 34 billion).

The large-scale Chinese aircraft purchase order, which is part of a package of deals signed during Xi’s visit to Europe, comes as Airbus’s arch-rival, US-based Boeing recently grounded all of its 737 Max jets as a result of two plane crashes.

The general terms agreement between Airbus and China Aviation Supplies Holding Company was signed in Paris by Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO, and Jia Baojun, Chairman of CAS, in the presence of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron.

“We are honored to support the growth of China’s civil aviation with our leading aircraft families – single-aisle and wide-bodies,” Airbus Commercial Aircraft President Guillaume Faury, who is due to become the new Airbus CEO in April, said in the statement.

“Our expanding footprint in China demonstrate our lasting confidence in the Chinese market and our long-term commitment to China and our partners,” Faury added.

The European aircraft producer said that by the end of January 2019, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators totaled some 1,730 aircraft, including 1,455 are A320 Family, and 17 are A350 XWB Family planes.

Airbus points out that according to its latest China Market Forecast 2018 to 2037, China will need some 7,400 new passenger and freighters aircraft in the next 20 years, which would be nearly 20% of the total global demand estimated at 37,400 new aircraft.

(Banner image: A. Pecchi/Airbus)

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