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A320neo (image: Airbus)

Airbus, China sign massive deal as Boeing falters

The agreement covers the purchase of 290 A320-family and 10 A350-family aircraft by Chinese airlines.

As Boeing continues to struggle with its 737 MAX crisis, its rival Airbus has landed a massive deal with China. The deal was signed during an official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Paris.

The agreement covers the purchase of 290 Airbus A320-family aircraft and 10 A350-family aircraft by Chinese airlines. The European manufacturer signed a general terms agreement with China Aviation Supplies Holding Company solidifying the deal.

The total in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators totalled 1,730 aircraft by the end of January. China will need 7,400 new passenger and freight aircraft in the next 20 years, according to Airbus’ China market forecast for the period 2018 to 2037.

This represents almost 20% of the global total demand for over 37,400 new aircraft.

The new deal reflects the strong demand in China for all market segments, including domestic, low cost, regional and international long haul.

“We are honoured to support the growth of China’s civil aviation with our leading aircraft families – single-aisle and widebodies,” declared Guillaume Faury, president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO.

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

MAX and neo
The total value of the deal has not been specified. The news agency Reuters reports that a number of the 300 aircraft may have already been included in Airbus’ previous order backlog.

China was the first country to ground the Boeing 737 MAX following the Ethiopian Airlines crash earlier this month. This single-aisle aircraft type competes directly with the A320neo.

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