Airbus Sells 140 Planes to China for $23 Billion

Jul 05, 2017

The booming aviation business in China is giving Airbus a big boost.

The aircraft manufacturer announced Wednesday it has signed a deal with China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) to deliver 140 planes. While the companies did not put a price tag on the deal, the list price of those planes is roughly $23 billion.

Airbus will deliver 100 A320 Family aircraft and 40 of its A350s to the state-owned company, which will parse them out to airlines throughout the country. (Not included in the agreement is the self-flying taxi plane the company is working on.)

The A320 Family, whose planes seat anywhere from 100 to 240 passengers depending on the model, has proven especially popular in China. Airbus says of the 1,440 aircraft it has operating in the country, nearly 1,230 are in A320s. (The A350s are more suited for international routes.)

China is a huge growth market for the airline industry. Airbus' own Global Market Forecast predicts domestic traffic in the country will become the world's largest market in the years to come. And rival Boeing last year said it expects Chinese airlines to buy over $1 trillion worth of planes over the next 20 years as they grow to meet rising demand.

The deal with CAS is a welcome bit of good news for Airbus. Earlier this year the company was forced to take a $1.2 billion hit related to its troubled A400M military aircraft program.

Airbus said it's also in talks with Chinese officials about an order for the A380 superjumbo jet - a line that hasn't sold as fast as the company was hoping to date. As yet, though, no agreement has been reached.

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