Richard North, 31/01/2005  

Three days ago, China Southern Airlines Company signed an agreement with Airbus for the purchase of five A380s, marking the first commitment placed by a Chinese carrier for the recently unveiled largest aircraft in the world.

Says the China press agency, "The agreement is seen as providing a boost to Airbus in its battle with US rival Boeing for dominance in the crucial Chinese market".

But, on the same day, the same China press agency also reported that the China Aviation Supplies Import & Export Group (CASIEG) and six Chinese airlines signed a frame agreement here Friday with the Boeing Company to buy 60 new 7E7 Dreamliners (now renamed the 787) with a list price of $7.2 billion.

This, it stated, "is the biggest agreement in terms of aircraft quantity and value that Chinese airlines have ever signed."

Now, courtesy of The Business, we also hear that Boeing is going to produce an advanced version of the veteran 747 which, says the paper, will be seen as a spoiler for the new Airbus A380 superjumbo and retaliation against Airbus. Last December, the European firm unveiled plans for the A350 mid-sized aircraft to go head to head with the Boeing 787.

All’s fair in love and war, I suppose. Who said anything about business?

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