Airbus, China sign deal for 62 A320 jets
Berlin, June 28, 2011
Airbus, China Aviation Supplies and Industrial Commerce Bank of China signed a deal for 62 Airbus A320 aircraft, company sources said on Tuesday.
The deal could eventually be for 88 jets with a total list price of $7.5 billion, a company source said.
The deal coincided with an official visit to Germany by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who told a joint news conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel that firms from the two countries had signed contracts worth $15 billion in all.
The visit comes just days after industry sources said China had delayed announcement of a $3.8 billion order for 10 Airbus A380 superjumbo jets at the Paris Air Show to protest over EU emissions trading rules.
Airbus began assembling the narrower-bodied A320s for the Chinese market at a factory in Tianjin, near Beijing, in 2009.
China typically schedules aircraft orders to coincide with political visits, but the deals are often difficult to analyse.
Although it plans to start competing with Airbus and Boeing by building its own narrow-body passenger jets from the second half of this decade, China continues to order large volumes of Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s to support its economic growth.
Merkel said Wen's visit marked a new chapter in bilateral relations.
China is Germany's fifth-biggest export market and the biggest importer of goods into Germany, with bilateral trade volume last year reaching 130 billion euros ($184 billion), up more than 34 percent on the previous year, a German official said earlier.-Reuters