On Monday, the Chinese President Xi Jinping pulled out his massive checkbook and purchased 300 jets from Airbus, sending the French and other members of the Airbus team into a frenzy. There is no direct evidence that the Airbus deal has been influenced by the US-China trade war that is raging but the purchase of 290 small A-320 family jets and 10 A350 wide-body jets will keep the Airbus factories running for years to come. French officials say the deal was worth 30 billion euros at catalog prices, before discounts.
The larger-than-expected order which matches an order for 300 Boeing planes when US President Donald Trump visited Beijing in 2017, follows a quiet stretch in which China bought nothing. The grounding of the 737-MAX has also overshadowed the US plane maker as global regulators and the press have continued to report the recent tragedies in which a Lion Air and and an Ethiopian Air jet fell from the sky.
China now enjoys a robust travel market with double-digit growth hence the large number of regional jets it purchased from Airbus this week. French President Macron was unsuccessful in clinching an Airbus order for 184 planes in 2018 so today`s purchase takes some sting out of that visit.