French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited
Tsinghua University on Tuesday morning where he delivered a
China has signed an agreement worth US$17.4 billion, during
French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to Beijing, to buy 160
planes from French company Airbus.
The deal, inked in Beijing, is composed of 110 A320 planes and
50 A330 planes, according to Airbus China.
The China Aviation Supplies Import and Export Group Corporation
(CASGC) has signed an agreement to buy 150 Airbus planes, and China
Southern Airlines, the country's largest carrier by fleet size, has
ordered 10 A330-220s, the company said. China Southern's purchase
was announced by the carrier in October.
The 150-aircraft deal sealed with the CASGC, a key state-owned
service provider of civil aviation products, was a huge contract
compared with previous purchases made by individual carriers.
China's national flag carrier Air China said earlier it intended
to buy 24 Airbus 320 family aircraft with the revenue gained from
selling 400 million A-shares.
The 500th A330 aircraft made by Airbus was delivered to Hainan
Airlines on Nov. 15.
Airbus also said it had signed a memorandum of understanding
(MOU) with China's top economic planner to allow the Chinese
aviation industry to participate in the company's manufacture of
its new extra wide-body A350.
"Airbus confirms its intention to manufacture five percent of
the airframe of the A350 XWB aircraft in China," the company said
in a statement.
The MOU was signed by both sides in the presence of Chinese
President Hu Jintao and visiting French President Nicolas
"Airbus will actively involve Chinese enterprises in the A350
XWB project to develop the current cooperation and prepare for
further possible cooperation for future programs," said the
"The NDRC encourages the efforts to further enhance industrial
cooperation between the Chinese aviation industry and Airbus," said
Zhang Xiaoqiang, vice minister of the National Development and
Reform Commission (NDRC).
China will continue to be the world's biggest purchaser of
aircraft and engines over the next 20 years, according to a report
released by the British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce in
The Rolls-Royce report predicted that Chinese airlines would buy
more than 3,100 new planes over the next two decades.
China has been ordering aircraft from both Airbus and the
US-based Boeing, which take a lion's share of the international
market, and both companies see China as an important client for its
fast growing market.
Earlier on Monday, China signed an eight-billion-euro deal with
the French company Areva to build two reactors in the southern
Guangdong Province, part of about 20 cooperation documents inked
between China and France during the visit of the French
(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2007)