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Aviation

Airbus lands giant deal with China

China Southern Airlines has announced it will order ten new aircraft from European planemaker Airbus in efforts to boost its capacity in a growing market. The deal is the second large order for Airbus within two weeks.

The contract signed by China Southern Airlines was for ten new Airbus A330-300 aircraft, China's largest airline said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange Wednesday.

According to the European plane maker's price list, the deal would be worth $1.88 billion (1.43 billion euros), but China Southern Airlines said it was granted "certain price concessions" from Airbus.

Noting that the order would be financed through international funding and bank loans, the airline said it was expecting delivery of the first aircraft to begin between 2014 and 2016.

China Southern Airlines also said the order would boost the carrier's current capacity by 5.7 percent and enhance its competitiveness in the rapidly expanding Chinese travel market.

The deal came just two weeks after Airbus secured another major order from smaller airline, China Eastern Airlines. The Shanghai-based carrier bought 60 Airbus 320s in a deal reportedly worth $5.39 billion.

According to latest Airbus figures, the European plane-making consortium had 853 aircraft in service in China by the end of October, accounting for about half of the country's total fleet of aircraft of over 100 seats.

In 2012, the subsidiary of the EADS aerospace corporation plans to deliver a total of 120 new aircraft to China.

uhe/rc (AFP, dpa)

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