Beijing/London — Airbus has sent a high-powered delegation to China seeking to firm up a potential $18bn jet order, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that would underscore the Asian nation’s ability to ride out a trade war with the US. The possible order for about 180 A320 Neo narrow-body jets, first touted in January, will be discussed during the trip this week that includes Airbus CEO Tom Enders and commercial aircraft president Guillaume Faury, said the people, who asked not to be named as the talks are not public. The executives are also in China to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Airbus’s first Chinese assembly line and the opening of a helicopter plant. Airbus said it does not comment on the travel plans of management or confidential discussions with customers. The CAAC, China’s aviation regulator, said on Wednesday it had met with Faury, without elaborating on the context.

While a final agreement may not be reached, Chinese President Xi Jinp...

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