China spent US$17 billion on Airbus aircraft

Nury Vittachi: CHINA BUYS FLEET OF EU PLANES. China spent US$17 billion on Airbus aircraft on Friday. Aviation chiefs signed a general terms agreement on 132 new aircraft.
While the deal has been taking shape for months, the signing of the agreement means both sides are committed to a deal in which the planes will have to be delivered between 2023 and 2027. Indications are that China is expecting a solid return to economic activity.
The confirmation is a blow to Boeing, the Seattle-based American aircraft maker, but is not unexpected. China’s three big state airlines already stated in July this year that it planned to buy a total of 292 Airbus jets in a series of deals for about US$37 billion.
Pro-Washington news agency Reuters expressed anger at the announcement, saying China was “reheating” a deal that was already in the works.
But the news is bad for Airbus’s rival Boeing Co either way—and is going to get worse. Just a week ago, China signed off on its own jet, the C919, which is also heading into mass production after successful test flights.
As recently as a decade or two ago, analysts believed that Chinese engineering would not be able to catch up with that of the west – but the country’s successful development of electric cars, working space rockets, alternative nuclear power plants, and a space station, has put paid to that theory.
Boeing’s nightmare is that U.S.’s fractious politics will result in their planes being unwanted across a huge chunk of the fastest-growing part of the world.
Meanwhile, there’s rejoicing in France, where Airbus craft are assembled. Airbus’s latest corporate video says: “We need to focus on what’s next.”
[Text from fridayeveryday. Image: Airbus Corporation]

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