LONDON – China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) and Airbus have this week signed a General Terms Agreement (GTA) in Paris covering purchasing agreements for 300 aircraft.

It was signed by the future President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft Guillaume Faury as well as Jia Baojun, the Chairman of CAS, with Presidents Jinping of China and Macron of France watching ahead.

Faury commented on the deal, saying how honoured he was to sign this deal with CAS.

“We are honoured to support the growth of China’s civil aviation with our leading aircraft families – single aisle and widebodies”.

“Our expanding footprint in China demonstrate our lasting confidence in the Chinese market and our long-term commitment to China and our partners.”

The deal breaks down into 290 A320 Family aircraft and 10 A350XWB family aircraft, which is down to the strong demand in all market segments including domestic, low-cost, regional and international long-haul services..

This deal also follows the latest market forecast for China, which requires some 7,400 passenger aircraft and freighters between 2018-2037.

China is a big market for Airbus, with it representing more than 19% of the world total demand for aircraft which is 37,400.

January 2019 numbers suggests that there are up to 1,730 Airbus aircraft in-service across China, 1,455 of which are A320 Family aircraft and just 17 being A350s.

As a cynic, this deal could be seen as a massive strike to Boeing, following the issues with the 737MAX.

China was the first country in the world to ground the fleet completely in the country on issues of safety.

While we don’t know the specifics, this GTA is a big endorsement to Airbus and will also no doubt provide extra confidence to its plants in Tianjin in particular.

We will probably see this GTA mentioned in Paris as we explore which carriers will be receiving the new aircraft over the next few years by CAS.