March 17, 2013 / 3:57 PM / 5 years ago

Airbus to sign "major industrial deal": French government

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande will meet Airbus President Fabrice Bregier on Monday to celebrate “a major industrial deal,” Hollande’s office said in a statement on Sunday.

The deal will be signed at the launch of France’s ‘Industry Week,’ which is held March 18-24, the statement said.

“It’s a new deal,” said a source close to the Elysee presidential palace, who declined to give any details.

Industry sources have been expecting Airbus, part of European aerospace group EADS EAD.PA, to announce a significant order from an Asian buyer.

Airbus hinted last week at imminent orders worth over $10 billion for A320neo passenger jets, saying cumulative orders for the revamped jet would probably hit 2,000 by the end of this month.

Airbus has so far sold 1,878 of the latest fuel-saving member of its single-aisle medium-haul jet family, which competes with the Boeing 737 in the largest part of the market.

Boeing outsold Airbus in 2012 for the first time in six years and remains ahead this year.

Reporting by Ingrid Melander and Tim Hepher; Editing by Alison Birrane

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