Wednesday 24 April 2019

Airbus close to signing China plane deal

Airbus CEO Tom Enders
Airbus CEO Tom Enders

Tim Hepher and Benjamin Katz

EUROPEAN planemaker Airbus is close to signing a deal worth billions of dollars with China following a delay of more than a year in the negotiations, industry sources said on Monday.

The deal is part of a package of trade deals coinciding with a visit to Europe by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Airbus declined to comment.

Boeing shares pared gains briefly on the news and were up about 1.2pc at one stage yesterday.

The deal will provide a boost for the European company's incoming chief, Guillaume Faury, who takes over from Tom Enders in April. Airbus sales have had one of the slowest starts in the past decade, with it registering 103 cancellations and just four new orders in the first two months.

China has become a key hunting ground for Airbus and its rival Boeing, thanks to surging travel demand, but the outlook has been complicated by Beijing's desire to grow its own industrial champions and the US-China trade war.

French President Emmanuel Macron unexpectedly failed to clinch the Airbus order during a trip to China in early 2018 and the French government and Airbus have been working since to salvage it.

Reuters and Bloomberg

Irish Independent

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