PARIS, Jan 27 (AFP) – China Southern Airlines recently agreed to buy 21 Airbus aircraft, Chinese President Hu Jintao told a press conference here Tuesday.
“To my knowledge, China Southern Airlines and Airbus very recently agreed on the acquisition of 21 Airbus planes and we are very happy to have received this news,” Hu said at a press conference where he appeared alongside French President Jacques Chirac.
An Airbus spokesman confirmed that an agreement in principle had been reached, adding that the planes in question were in the A320 family.
“We are pleased that the Chinese authorities approved this agreement,” he said.
Airbus, which trailed US rival Boeing in starting to do business in China, at the moment has a market share there of about 30 percent. There are currently 217 Airbus planes in service in China.
President Hu is Thursday to visit Airbus headquarters in the southern French city of Toulouse.
The European group has high hopes for China, where it aims to sell more than 800 aircraft over the next 20 years.
Subject: France news