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GE to supply engines for Boeing China jets
( 2003-11-12 10:32) (Agencies)

General Electric Co. confirmed it will supply engines for 30 Boeing Co. 737 planes, as part of a multibillion-dollar deal with several Chinese airlines.

GE Aircraft Engines will supply the engines, worth about $300 million, through its CFM joint venture with French engine maker Snecma. It will split the revenue with its 50-50 joint venture partner, said GE Aircraft Engines spokesman Rick Kennedy.

The transaction is slated to be formally announced Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Kennedy said Tuesday.

The Boeing planes are to be sold to several Chinese airlines, said a person familiar with the situation.

Boeing officials declined comment, but Air China executives have confirmed it would receive some of the aircraft, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Other airlines receiving planes are Shandong Airlines Co., Xiamen Airlines Co., Hainan Airlines Co. and Shenzhen Airlines Co., according to a Bloomberg report.

The deal, rumored for weeks, comes as U.S. officials have placed increasing pressure on the Chinese government to ease a trade surplus with the United States that hit $103 billion last year.

As of Nov. 5, and not including the Chinese order, Boeing has landed 174 orders in 2003, according to its Web site. That's the lowest number of new orders for Boeing since 1994, when airlines placed orders for only 125 jets.

The prices for 737s range from $41 million to $68.5 million each, depending on the model, but carriers typically negotiate discounts.

Boeing is also awaiting approval of a deal for the U.S. Air Force to lease and buy 100 converted 767 jets as air-refueling tankers.

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