[BEIJING] China and Germany signed a deal on Thursday that will see Chinese airlines buy 30 A330 aeroplanes manufactured by Airbus Group SE.
The order, valued at 17 billion euros (S$26 billion), was announced after Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel met China's Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.
Airbus is battling Boeing Co for dominance of the Chinese market, where Boeing estimates demand for new planes to reach US$1 trillion over the next two decades.
Air China Ltd and other Chinese carriers are expanding fleets as the number of passengers travelling within China and overseas is set to triple over the next two decades.
To help secure more jet orders in China, Airbus agreed in July to build a 150 million euro A330 completion centre in Tianjin where it has been assembling A320s, sold mostly to Chinese airlines.
In September, Boeing also signed a cooperation document with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) to build a completion centre for its 737 passenger jets in China.
The deal was seen as a boost for Comac, which has been struggling to build its C919, a narrow-body jet it is developing to compete with the B737 and A320.