China halts 10 more Airbus orders in EU row: sources

The first Airbus A380 delivered to China Southern Airlines takes off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, near Toulouse, October 14, 2011. REUTERS/Jean-Philippe Arles

PARIS (Reuters) - China has suspended the purchase of 10 more Airbus EAD.PA long-haul jets, raising the stakes in a row with the European Union over an airline emission levy, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The move to delay the purchase of the A330 planes brings to $14 billion the value of European aircraft caught up in growing trade tensions over the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, which is opposed by China and a group of other trade powers.

China has ordered its airlines not to comply with the EU scheme which came into force for aviation in January.

Airbus declined to comment.

Earlier this week, Airbus said China had blocked the purchase of 10 Airbus A380 superjumbos and 35 A330s worth $12 billion. Several people familiar with the deal said the A380s were earmarked for Hong Kong Airlines, 46-percent owned by HNA Group, parent of Hainan Airlines 600221.SS.

Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by James Regan