China contract for 184 Airbus A320s in the wings, Macron says
Chinese president confirms to his French counterpart that deal will be sealed ‘soon’
French President Emmanuel Macron said a contract with China for 184 Airbus A320s would be finalised soon and that his country also had ambitions to sell A350 and A380 planes to China in coming weeks or months.
“On the order for 184 A320s, it’s something that will be finalised soon,” Macron said on Wednesday during his state visit to China, adding it was confirmed to him by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“And we also have ambitions on A350 and A380 mid-range and large carriers in the weeks or months to come.”
The French president also said China had assured him it would respect market-share parity between Airbus and Boeing.
China regularly splits large orders between Europe and the United States to cope with its fast-expanding airline traffic, but the momentum has recently been with rival Boeing, which sold 300 jets during a visit by US President Donald Trump last year.
But China placed a large order for 140 Airbus jets during a visit to Germany by Xi last July.
New orders for Airbus jetliners have historically featured during such visits by French leaders.
However, none was announced during Macron’s visit, although sources familiar with the negotiations said there were talks about an order of 100 more or jets.
Airbus signed a provisional deal on Tuesday to boost the number of A320 family jets assembled in Tianjin to six a month by 2020 from four at present.
Airbus declined to comment on Wednesday.