German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on hand when China signed a deal to buy 130 jets from Airbus Group SE, the latest move in the European company's fight with Boeing Corp. in what's on its way to becoming the world's biggest plane market.
The Airbus deal, for 100 A320s and 30 A330s with a total list price of $17 billion, was one of several agreements signed Thursday in Beijing during Merkel's meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Bloomberg reported. In July, China signed a deal for 45 A330s with an option for 30 more.
Just last month, Boeing signed deals to deliver 300 planes to Chinese airlines and lessors. That happened when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Boeing's plant in Seattle as part of his U.S. state visit.
Seventy thousand flights fly into, from or within China every week, a 10th of the world's passenger flights, the International Air Travel Association said in April. And by 2034, China will be the world's biggest passenger market, with 20 percent of the total, according to the association.
Airbus and Boeing are putting up plants in China to help get more of that market, sometimes working with the Commercial Aviation Corporation of China Ltd., or Comac, which the Asian country is building up as a future player, Vox said last month.