( Reuters ) - China on Monday signed a framework agreement to buy an undisclosed number of aircraft from Airbus (EAD.PA).
The Toulouse-based plane maker had been hoping to firm up a contract to sell 150 aircraft in a deal that could have been worth more than $15 billion.
In the event, the only firm order announced on Monday was with China Southern Airlines Co Ltd (1055.HK)(600029.SS), which is buying 10 twin-aisle A330 aircraft in a deal worth $1.8 billion at list prices.
The deals were signed as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chinese President Hu Jintao watched.
China has also agreed to take a 5 percent risk-sharing stake in the development of the A350. The $10 billion project is Airbus's attempt to catch up with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner in the fast-growing mid-sized jetliner market.