[Reuters] China Eastern Airlines (0670.HK) is set to place a $6 billion (3.7 billion pounds) order for up to 20 Boeing 777 jets, while simultaneously emerging at the centre of an aviation row between China and the European Union by stalling a recent Airbus deal, people familiar with the matter said.
The order for wide-body 777s follows a fierce but discreet contest between Boeing and Airbus and allows the U.S. planemaker to bounce back after China’s third-largest airline cancelled an order for 24 of its latest flagship 787 Dreamliners last year.
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, two of the people said.
Boeing, Airbus and China Eastern declined to comment.
The deals took shape at different times and for different plane types, but together they highlight the stakes involved as planemakers court the world’s fastest-growing aviation market under the shadow of a recent trade dispute between China and Europe.
China and more than 20 nations oppose EU plans to force airlines to adopt a carbon emissions-capping scheme that they say will penalise foreign long-haul carriers and infringe sovereignty. Airbus has said some…..
Reuters: 26th April, 2012
Reporting by Tim Hepher,
Kyle Peterson, Fang Yan