PARIS (XFNews) - China has signed an agreement to buy 150 planes of the Airbus A320 family, and has also agreed to jointly develop a six-tonne helicopter with another EADS unit, Eurocopter.
As part of a wide-ranging accord, Airbus also said it offered China a 5 pct stake in its A350 aircraft program, and agreed to source at least 60 mln usd per year of material in China starting in 2007 and up to 120 mln per year from 2010.
The list price of the 150 Airbus planes, which is indicative only as many bulk plane deals involve discounts, is 9.7 bln usd. The agreement covers the A319, A320 and A321 models.
Airbus signed the agreement with China Aviation Supplies Import and Export group.
The planes will be delivered to six airlines - Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Hainan Airlines.
Airbus described the accord as a general terms agreement (GTA) - which is typically is a framework for the signing of specific contracts. Parent company EADS referred to a commitment to buy the planes, without elaborating.
A sale of 150 planes would be the largest Airbus order ever.
The helicopter accord involves Eurocopter and the Chinese aerospace company AVIC II, which will jointly develop and manufacture the machine and include it in their respective product ranges.