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China Southern Airlines said Thursday that its division has placed an order for 40 A320neo family aircraft with Airbus SE worth $4.85 billion.

The deal comes months after China’s three state-owned airlines placed orders for nearly 300 Airbus jets in an apparently coordinated fashion. This is the largest order by a Chinese airline since the pandemic.

Boeing Chief Executive Dave Calhoun said earlier this week that the prospects for selling planes to China in the next year or two are negative. It has not made any commercial flights in China since it was grounded after a catastrophic crash.

The Airbus deal follows China Southern’s August order for 96 A320neo family aircraft worth $12.25 billion. (

The jets are scheduled to be delivered to Xiamen Airlines, which is majority-owned by China Southern Airlines, between 2024 and 2027. China Southern Airlines orders 40 Airbus planes

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