BEIJING, CHINA — On Friday, a joint statement announced that China and France will assess the need for cargo aircraft and long-haul jets in the future. This followed a state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron and suggests a more cautious approach to large Airbus orders compared to the popular A320neo medium-haul model, which is seeing doubled production capacity in China.

According to the statement, the two nations will evaluate the freight and long-haul requirements of Chinese airlines based on the recovery and growth of China's air transport market and fleet. The statement also acknowledged the delivery clearance for 150 A320neo and 10 A350 jets that Airbus had previously sold to China, with no new airplane orders announced during Macron's visit.

Airbus is promoting a freighter version of its A350 jet and is eager to sell more wide-body passenger aircraft to China. In 2021, Airbus opened an A350 completion center in the country. While domestic air traffic has recovered to pre-pandemic levels, international traffic remains at around 30% of 2019 levels.

Boeing was anticipated to secure a significant order for its wide-body 787 aircraft before worsening Sino-US relations left the company partially excluded from China. Analysts believe that airlines can afford to wait for improved relations and increased competition before making major long-haul fleet decisions due to the slower recovery of international demand compared to domestic flying.

Also read: Airbus Seeks Multi-billion-dollar Deal with China Amid Macron's Visit to the Country