Airbus To Sell 150 A320s To China

October 26, 2006

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Airbus agreed on Thursday to sell 150 of its narrow-bodied A320 family of aircraft to China and reached a final deal to make the jets in the country, its chief executive said.

The deal also involves options for 20 A350s, said Airbus President and Chief Executive Louis Gallois in Beijing, where French President Jacques Chirac is also visiting.

Gallois added that Airbus had finalized a deal to build an A320 assembly plant in Tianjin, near Beijing, its first such factory outside Europe.

China, which often times big-ticket purchases to coincide with official diplomatic visits, ordered 150 single-aisle Airbus aircraft worth USD$10 billion in December 2005 when Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visited Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France.

That order was balanced with a similar order from rival Boeing which so far dominates Chinese aviation with around two thirds of the current fleet.

(Reuters)