China confirms orders for 140 Airbus jets worth $17 billion

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BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s state aircraft buying agency officially signed orders to buy 140 Airbus planes worth about $17 billion on Friday, China Aviation Supplies (CAS) Holding said in a statement.

They are all pre-existing orders, with some included in an order for 292 jets announced earlier this year, Airbus said on Friday.

The formal signing of the agreement took place on Friday, during a visit to China by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

China’s “Big Three” state airlines in July pledged to buy a total of 292 Airbus jets, making it the biggest order at the time by Chinese carriers since the COVID-19 pandemic and a breakthrough for Europe as Boeing remains partially frozen out of China.

Boeing suggested it may have to make do without Chinese deliveries for some time amid the zero COVID policy and U.S.-Chinese tensions.

Boeing, which has started reselling planes originally built for China, told investors on Wednesday it could reach its goals without the Chinese market, which usually represents a quarter of Western deliveries.

Friday’s purchase agreement includes 132 of the European planemaker’s A320 series planes and eight A350 planes, the company said.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Albee Zhang, Brenda Goh)

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