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Shanghai (AFP) Nov 14, 2012
Airbus said Wednesday it had won an order from a Chinese customer for a corporate jet as the European plane maker seeks to make greater inroads into the country's young market.
Foreign companies are eyeing China's growing market for corporate jets, supported by rapid economic growth which has created a new class of wealthy individuals.
The latest Airbus deal marks the first time a Chinese customer has ordered the ACJ319 corporate jet with the option of a special wingtip device that reduces drag and saves fuel, the company said in a statement.
The order brings the total for its corporate jets in China to 25 since the first in 2005, Airbus said in an announcement coinciding with China's premier airshow in the southern city of Zhuhai.
"China is a relatively new market for corporate jets," Airbus Chief Operating Officer for Customers, John Leahy, said in the statement.
He added China's high economic growth rates made it a "bright spot" in the current business jet market.
Airbus said the order announced on Wednesday was made earlier this year, but declined to identify the buyer or give other details.
The ACJ319 has a range of 11,100 kilometres (6,900 miles) and typically seats eight people, according to the Airbus website.
Brazilian plane maker Embraer on Tuesday forecast China will need 650 corporate jets by 2022, representing a value of $24 billion.
The company estimated China's entire fleet of corporate jets at 267, up from only 78 in 2007, according to a statement.
Embraer has booked a cumulative 28 firm orders and another five options for its corporate jets in China, the statement said.
The Brazilian company in June this year made an agreement with domestic industry giant China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) for final assembly of its Legacy corporate jets in China's northern city of Harbin.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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