China has agreed to buy 130 planes from Airbus in a deal worth $17 billion. The new agreement gives Airbus a leg up in its battle against Boeing to claim a share of the fast-growing Chinese market, which is expected to become the largest for air travel in the world in the coming decades.
The deal was signed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bloomberg reports. It will bring 30 twin-aisle Airbus planes to China, as well as 100 single-aisle aircraft. China had already ordered 45 of the twin-aisle planes back in June. Boeing, for its part, is sending 300 jets to Chinese carriers as part of a deal struck in September.
According to Boeing, China will require an additional 6,330 new planes over the next 20 years. The rapid expansion is worth nearly a trillion dollars to aircraft manufacturers. By 2034, China will be the largest air travel market in the world.