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Airbus sells 140 planes worth $23 billion to China in one of its major deal

Agreement signed by Xi Jinping is for 100 A320, 40 A350 planes

Reuters  |  Berlin 

Airbus's company logo is pictured at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse
Airbus's company logo is pictured at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse

has signed an agreement to sell 140 aircraft to China, it said on Wednesday, in a deal worth almost $23 billion at list prices.

The agreement, signed during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Germany, is for 100 family aircraft and 40 planes, said.

"It's one of the biggest deals that we've signed in a long time," Group Chief Executive Tom Enders told journalists after signing the deal in

The planes will be purchased by state-owned Aviation Supplies Holding Company, which will then allocate them to

The planes will be a mixture of the older CEO and the new NEO version with revamped engines, while the majority of the orders are for the -900 model. The deal is flexible pending negotiations with the airlines.

Enders said he expected up to 50 per cent of the family planes would come from the final assembly line in

Enders was making his first public appearance since rolled out a new structure, completing a recent merger between its parent company and its dominant planemaking arm, changes which included a shift in the reporting line for its commercial sales team to Enders.

Enders said the shift in reporting lines for the sales team reflected the fact that commercial aircraft head Fabrice Bregier had been given more tasks in his new role as group-wide chief operating officer.

With orders slowing and the focus shifting to the backlog, Enders said the shake-up allows Bregier to concentrate on deliveries.

"This is merely a burden sharing mechanism because the focus should be on execution and this is what it's all about," Enders said.

"We have plenty of challenges on the execution side, be it the transition to the NEO, the ramp-up of the family, the 350 family, not to mention the A400M, which is not entirely solved," he said.

Enders also said the group was in talks with the Chinese over the A380 superjumbo, which has suffered slow sales.

"It won't happen overnight. It has to be intensively discussed," he said.