France hails Chinese A380 order as 'political victory'

28th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 27 (AFP) - France on Thursday hailed the planned signing here Friday by China Southern Airlines of a deal to acquire five Airbus A380 aircraft as both a political and economic triumph.

PARIS, Jan 27 (AFP) - France on Thursday hailed the planned signing here Friday by China Southern Airlines of a deal to acquire five Airbus A380 aircraft as both a political and economic triumph.

"Beyond an economic success, I think particularly that it is a political success," French Transport Minister Gilles de Robien told the Senate.

"We are working for the rapprochement of a great country, a great people and of Europe and France."

The new A380, the world's largest commercial airliner, is a product of the European consortium Airbus Industrie, based in Toulouse, France. The twin-deck aircraft, capable of carrying up to 840 people, was unveiled January 18 and is scheduled to go into service next year.

De Robien said the deal Friday will be the fruit of a visit to China in October by French President Jacques Chirac, who promoted the new plane and spoke of France's high technology accomplishments.

He also recalled that Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin had travelled to China in 2003 at the height of the SARS respiratory crisis "when very few heads of state or government were going to China."

The signing ceremony is scheduled to take place at the ministry of transport, making China the 15th customer for the A380.

The official China Daily, citing an interview with China Southern executive Yang Defeng, reported Wednesday that the airline would purchase five A380s, the first Chinese order for the jet.

© AFP

Subject: French News

 

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