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China buys Boeing 777s, delays Airbus deal

Updated: 2012-04-27 10:05


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China Eastern Airlines is set to place a $6 billion order for up to 20 Boeing 777 jets, Reuters reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

Besides handing the 777 order to Boeing, China Eastern is stalling on the completion of a $3 billion order for 15 Airbus A330 aircraft announced last October, according to Reuters.

Boeing and Airbus are betting on new Chinese wealth and government infrastructure spending to bolster travel in the country, where domestic passenger traffic is growing rapidly.

Chinese domestic air traffic is expected to grow by an average of 7.5 percent per year until 2030, about three times the rate in North America, and by around 7 percent on inter-continental routes to and from China, Reuters reported ,citing Boeing.

In September, the US jetmaker boosted its demand forecast for China by 25 percent, predicting that it would need 5,000 commercial aircraft worth $600 billion over the next 20 years, according to Reuters.