China orders 300 Airbus planes for €30bn during visit

The deal was made in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron

China has ordered 300 Airbus planes in a €30 billion deal hailed as an “excellent sign” for Chinese-French relations, it was confirmed during President Xi Jinping’s visit to France this week.

The agreement was signed on Monday March 25, during the Chinese President’s visit with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace.

The order is for 290 Airbus A320 planes, and 10 A350s, ordered through the Chinese state company CASC (China Aviation Supplies Holding Company). Airbus has not confirmed the order value, but at 2018 catalogue prices, it would represent more than €35 billion.

A statement from the Élysée suggested that the deal was worth around €30 billion.

The move represents a more significant order than that announced in the “pre-agreement” made during Mr Macron’s visit to Beijing a year ago, which mentioned just 184 Airbus A320 planes across 13 Chinese companies.

The Airbus A320 (Julian Herzog / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0)

During the ceremonial signing of the deal at the Élysée Palace, President Macron said: “The conclusion of a big contract for Airbus is an important step forward and an excellent sign of the strength of relations [between China and France].”

The move was agreed officially between Airbus Commercial Aircraft president - and future head of Airbus - Guillaume Faury, and CASC president Jia Baojin, in the presence of Xi Jinping and Mr Macron.

Airbus is a European company, with its main headquarters office in Blagnac, near Toulouse, in France.

Chinese airlines already operate many Airbus jets; at the end of January 2019, the country’s operators had 1,730 planes, including 1,455 of the medium-haul A320 models, and 17 long-haul planes from the newest A350 XWB line.

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