Airbus has tied up a massive $23bn deal to supply China with 140 planes

Rebecca Smith
No turbulence here
No turbulence here (Source: Airbus)

Airbus has inked a deal to sell 140 aircraft to China worth around $23bn (£17.8bn) at list prices, the company announced today.

The aerospace giant said the general terms agreement for 100 A320 family aircraft and 40 A350 XWB family aircraft was signed by Airbus boss Tom Enders and the executive vice president of China Aviation Supplies, Sun Bo, during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Germany.

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The planes will be bought by state-owned China Aviation Supplies Holding Company, which will then allocate the planes to Chinese airlines.

“This is a great endorsement for our leading products in both single aisle and wide body segments," said Airbus' chief executive Tom Enders.

China is today one of the world’s most important markets for aviation, and we are honoured to support the development and rapid growth of China’s civil aviation with our competitive product portfolio.

According to the Aerospace, Defence, Security & Space (ADS) group, the value to the UK from the deal will be around £5.8bn. The 40 A350 XWBs are the biggest boost, as both the engines and wings are made in the UK, by Rolls-Royce and Airbus respectively.

ADS chief executive Paul Everitt said:

This announcement is great news for both Airbus and the UK aerospace industry as a whole.

The UK boasts a substantial Airbus presence and an extensive supply chain of businesses making vital systems and components, which together mean these aircraft will be worth an estimated £5.8bn to our economy.

Airbus said the deal reflected the strong demand of Chinese airlines across all market segments, spanning domestic, low-cost, regional, and international long-haul.

According to Airbus' latest global market forecast, China will be a big driver for growth, with domestic traffic set to become the world's biggest market. The International Air Transport Association has also forecast that China will become the world's largest aviation market in terms of passengers by 2024, trumping the US.

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