Air China and China Eastern signed deals to buy 26 Airbus aircraft between them. The order came during the state visit to China by French President Jacques Chirac. Under the deal, Air China will buy six A319s, for use between high-altitude airports in Sichuan and Tibet. China Eastern ordered its 20 300-seat A330-300 aircraft to expand domestic services. Shortly after the sale was announced, Airbus revealed plans to increase its Chinese parts procurement budget to US$120 million by 2010, up from US$15 million at present. Five Chinese companies make Airbus parts now.
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