China ETS row fails to dampen narrowbody order prospects

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Airbus is expecting orders for at least 100 single-aisle aircraft from Chinese carriers this year, including the A320neo, despite threats of a Chinese trade embargo with Europe in retaliation for the introduction of the European Union's Emissions Trading System.

John Leahy, Airbus's chief operating officer for customers, says any narrowbody order would be unaffected by the trade war as the aircraft would be operated domestically. "Perhaps the Chinese government will say the airplanes don't fly anywhere but within China and are coming off the Tianjin assembly line. So anything is possible," says Leahy. "The airlines are discussing an order that will well exceed 100 aircraft."

Airbus has admitted that the Chinese government is withholding approval for the sale of widebody aircraft worth $12 billion to Chinese carriers because of the row over the introduction of ETS.