Houston Community News >> China's 160 Jet Order Help Airbus Pass Boeing

12/3/2007 -- Airbus said it signed contracts yesterday to sell 160 commercial passenger jets to China in a deal worth around US$14.8 billion ($19.62 billion).

The order includes 110 of the European company's A320 jets and 50 of the slightly larger A330 planes, Airbus officials said in Beijing, where they were accompanying French President Nicolas Sarkozy on his first state visit to the Asian trading giant.

Airbus and Chinese partners this (northern) summer signed an agreement to produce A320s in China in anticipation of large Chinese orders for the popular single aisle jet that seats 150 or more passengers.

Airbus and its American archrival Boeing predict China will become the world's second-biggest aircraft market after the United States, with airlines buying 1900 to 2600 planes over the next two decades.

The order stands to push Airbus past Chicago-based Boeing in total orders for commercial aircraft this year.

Boeing said last week it had received 1047 commercial aeroplane orders this year, already beating its 2006 record-setting total of 1044 orders with more than a month to go. Airbus had logged 1021 jet orders as of the end of October.

French officials said the deal totalled about US$14.8 billion.

Other Airbus officials said the list price of the planes came to about US$17 billion.

The deal is welcome news to Airbus, which has struggled with a decline in the US dollar and delays with its A400M military transport aircraft and the A380 superjumbo that has wiped billions of euros off its profit.

(Contributed by AP)