A test aircraft of Airbus A350-900 is on display at Beijing Capital International Airport. Photo: AFP

French President Emmanuel Macron has finally secured a deal for France-based plane maker Airbus, with the company announcing a purchase nearly double the size of what Macron had previously claimed was in the works.

China will purchase 300 Airbus aircraft with a price tag of around US$35 billion, a move that comes as the European firm’s US competitor, Boeing, is mired in a scandal following two tragic accidents.

The bulk of the order is for A320-series jets, the chief rival to the Boeing 737 Max model that has been grounded after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight this month.

The announcement of the deal came as Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Macron in Paris, and after reports that Boeing may not be the beneficiary of any results of the ongoing trade negotiations between the US and China.

Despite the news, shares of Boeing closed the New York trading day up more than 2%. Airbus paired early losses to close down slightly.

A competing headline is that Ethiopian Airlines is sticking with Boeing and has faith it can resolve issues that may have led to the two recent crashes.

“Let me be clear: Ethiopian Airlines believes in Boeing. They have been a partner of ours for many years,” chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam wrote in a statement, per the Financial Times.

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