Chinese aircraft leasing company ICBC has signed an order for 50 Airbus A320s during a visit to China by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The deal is the first Airbus order from a Chinese operator since a dispute erupted earlier this year between China and the European Union over the EU’s carbon pricing scheme. China had reportedly held up orders for $14 billion worth of Airbus aircraft is protest over the EU carbon policy, which is says oversteps sovereignty by imposing a carbon tax on emissions made outside EU territory. The United States has also opposed the EU policy.
It was unclear whether the order signaled a deal to relax the carbon pricing scheme. Airbus has pressured the EU, saying it was being “held hostage” and urging the EU to take into account “the global opposition of almost every country outside Europe against this scheme.”
The order by ICBC includes 30 A320s and 20 A320neos. It is valued at $4 billion at list prices.