Embattled airplane maker Boeing (BA) - Get Report reportedly is negotiating one of its largest orders of wide-body jetliners with Chinese airlines, an arrangement that could net the company millions in new orders even as tensions between Washington and Beijing escalate.
Citing people familiar with the discussions, Bloomberg on Wednesday reported that Boeing and Chinese officials tasked with negotiating new commercial airplane orders with the likes of Boeing and Airbus have been discussing orders for as many as 100 twin-aisle 787 Dreamliners as well as 777X planes, Boeing's newest long-range aircraft.
Under the country's airplane tender process, deals are typically approved by regulators, who then hand off the agreements to the so-called China Aviation Supplies Holding Co., which then purchases all aircraft for commercial aviation use.
Negotiations have focused in particular on the 777-9, the planemaker's costliest jet with a $442.2 million price tag, which has not taken off in terms of pre-sales ahead of its planned 2020 debut, Bloomberg said.
No deal is imminent, and the trade war is a major complication for all involved, the sources told Bloomberg. The Chinese side is waiting for guidance from the government before pushing forward with the discussions, according to some of the people, as the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China intensifies.
The new planes would help replace an earlier generation of 777 jetliners Boeing has sold to Chinese airlines. However, the timing of the plane's debut remains uncertain amid ongoing testing to re-certify the company's now-grounded 737 MAX aircraft following two fatal crashes.
Shares of Boeing were up 0.77%, or $2.65, at $347.27 on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Airbus closed down 0.08%, or €10 cents, at €118.38 on the Euronext Paris stock market.