June 19, 2018 / 2:38 PM / 5 months ago

China seeks jets as French PM heads to Beijing

PARIS, June 19 (Reuters) - China Eastern has called for bids to supply 150 single-aisle jetliners like the Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 as Airbus seeks to revive a stalled plane deal with China, industry sources said.

The Airbus talks come as France’s prime minister embarks on an official trip to Beijing and as the United States threatens to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods. French officials cautioned there were no signs of an imminent airplane deal.

China’s ICBC Financial Leasing has also expressed interest in placing an Airbus aircraft order, the sources said.

Expectations of a deal between Airbus and China were thwarted earlier this year, with some sources linking this to a brief diplomatic chill following the publication of remarks by European envoys over China’s sensitive relations with Japan.

Separately, Hainan Airlines has emerged as the buyer in a deal recently reported by Airbus for 15 A350 jets worth $4.8 billion at catalogue prices, industry sources said. Airbus listed the order earlier this month without naming the buyer. (Reporting by Tim Hepher, Michel Rose, Elisabeth Pineau, Brenda Goh)

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