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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 October 2006, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
Airbus sells 150 A320s to China
Airbus A320
Airbus agreed to build the Chinese factory back in June
Commercial planemaker Airbus has won a multi-billion dollar Chinese order for 150 of its A320 planes, some of which will be assembled in China.

The factory in the north-eastern city of Tianjin will build its first A320 in 2009 and then manufacture four a month.

The deal also includes an option for China to buy 20 of the planemaker's new wide-body A350.

Economic expansion is driving demand for air travel in China, a key growth market for Airbus and rival Boeing.

Chinese airlines have ordered 150 Boeing 737s in recent years. The 737 is the US aerospace giant's nearest competitor to the A320.

"It is a means for us to develop a long-term vision with the Chinese," said Airbus chief executive Louis Gallois.

"It is clear that building the planes in China will give the Chinese an incentive to buy more of our aircraft."

The deal was signed during French President Jacques Chirac's visit to Beijing, and adds to last year's order for 150 Airbus planes signed during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to France.

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