China to buy 60 Airbus jets

Beijing, April 26 (IANS/EFE) Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting French counterpart Francois Hollande announced here that China will purchase 60 Airbus planes.

The deal was part of a memorandum of understanding signed by the two heads of state Thursday – the first day of Hollande’s visit – during a meeting at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

Spokespersons for the Toulouse, France-based aircraft manufacturer told EFE the agreement includes the sale of 42 A320 jets and 18 wide-bodied A330 planes.

Some or all of the A320s could be manufactured at Airbus’ final assembly line in Tianjin, a city roughly 150 km from Beijing, the spokespersons said.

The A320 is the only model currently produced at that facility.

The deal was the first to be reached following the French president’s arrival Thursday in the Chinese capital for a two-day visit aimed at bolstering trade ties.

The Tianjin final assembly line, a joint venture between Airbus and the Chinese consortium made up of the “Tianjin Free Trade Zone” and the China Aviation Industry Corporation, began operating in September 2008.

Through the end of 2012, a total of 110 A320s had been assembled at that facility.

–IANS/EFE

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