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Airbus to boost China output as nears jet deal during Macron trip

Reuters  |  PARIS 

By Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) - is set to boost production of narrowbody jets in as it nears a new multi-billion-dollar deal to supply the world's fastest-growing aviation market during a visit by French Emmanuel Macron, industry sources said.

The deal is expected to be unveiled together with a package of agreements coinciding with the French leader's visit, and could include orders for around 100 jetliners, they added.

The final number of jets to be sold has not been determined. is also said to be shopping for larger jets like the

declined comment on Monday.

and its U. S. rival

N> compete for large-scale orders in and such package deals are typically rolled out during major diplomatic events, but not without last-minute negotiations on the quantity and price of jets.

announced a deal for 300 aircraft during a visit to by in November.

About one in every four planes that produces is delivered to China, but fewer than 8 percent are assembled at its facility outside - one of four assembly plants including two in and one in the

is likely as part of any new airplane order to agree to lift the number of aircraft assembled in from the current level of around 50 a year, the sources said.

NO DEAL

The European planemaker is not, however, expected to announce a breakthrough in Chinese support for the 544-seat superjumbo, whose future is threatened by poor sales.

reported earlier that was offering an industrial partnership on the world's largest airliner as part of Macron's visit to

Macron is accompanied by industry leaders, including Fabrice Bregier, on his visit.

Industry sources said that has studied the possibility of selling a stake in the superjumbo programme, but no immediate deal is on the table.

The idea, which has been on the back-burner in Toulouse for some time, would resemble Airbus's decision to take a stake in the CSeries, but so far there has been little traction and no deal is imminent, one source said.

"It's not tomorrow," another source added, while others stress the A380's fate hinges instead on ongoing talks to sell 36 of the jets to Dubai's Emirates.

An said, "We don't comment on speculation".

believes that if the A380's future can be secured into the next decade, then is likely to come into the picture because of its frenetic demand growth.

sees untapped demand for 100 in China, while argues that traffic is better served by smaller jets.

The U. S. firm is meanwhile expected to confirm its position as the world's largest planemaker when it announces 2017 deliveries on Tuesday. It has targeted 760-765 deliveries.

Despite a record December that saw hand over more than 700 jets for the first time last year, the first delivery of its newest model - the A350-1000 - slipped into 2018 and should happen "early this year," a said.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by and Alexander Smith)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 09 2018. 00:02 IST
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