updated 11/20/2005 6:01:04 PM ET 2005-11-20T23:01:04

Emirates Airlines has placed an order for 42 Boeing 777 jets worth $9.7 billion at list prices, the airlines' chairman said Sunday, while China has signed a deal to buy 70 Boeing 737 airliners valued at $4 billion. Chinese airlines also will buy 80 more soon, the government said Sunday during a visit to Beijing by President Bush.

Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said the Emirates' aircraft _ to be powered by General Electric Co. GE-90 engines in a deal worth $2.5 billion _ include 24 Boeing 777-300 ERs, plus 10 777-200 LR Worldliners and eight 777 freighters.

Emirates, which has a current fleet of 83 planes, is scheduled to receive the first aircraft from the order in 2007, and has an option to buy 20 more 777s.

The announcement was made at the annual Dubai Airshow, the largest regional aircraft exhibition.

Emirates is already the largest customer for Airbus' huge double-decker A380, which made its maiden Mideast flight at the Dubai air show.

The 777-200LR, which earlier this month broke the world distance record for commercial airliners, will also allow Emirates to start nonstop flights to long-range destinations on the U.S. West Coast and in South America, he said. The 777-200LR is the world's longest range commercial jetliner, able to travel more than 13,000 miles nonstop, according to Chicago-based Boeing Co.

The deal boosts the airline's order book to 132, with a total value of $37.4 billion. Emirates is awaiting delivery of 23 777-300ERs, 45 A380s, 20 A340-600s and two Airbus A310Fs.

Industry analysts had expected Emirates to place orders with both Boeing and European rival Airbus Industries at the Dubai air show.

In China, the Boeing 737 deal was announced by the official Xinhua News Agency as Bush met Sunday with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Beijing often announces large purchases of American airliners in connection with visits by U.S. leaders in an effort to mollify Washington's frustration at China's surging trade surplus.

Xinhua gave only the catalog value of the planes and didn't say what Chinese carriers would pay for them. Buyers typically negotiate hefty discounts on sizable orders.

They are to be delivered between 2006 and 2008 to Chinese carriers Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Shandong Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines, according to Xinhua.

It said the planes were being bought on behalf of the airlines by a state-owned company that imports aircraft. That company "will soon sign another purchase agreement with Boeing for 80 more B737 aircraft," Xinhua said.

Hu told Bush that China would take steps to reduce its trade surplus with the United States but didn't discuss specific measures. China's trade surplus with the United States hit a record $162 billion in 2004 and is expected to pass $200 billion this year.

Boeing says it expects Chinese carriers to buy more than 2,600 new aircraft worth $213 billion over the next two decades as the country's economy grows and more people travel.

Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways also announced Sunday that it agreed to buy six Airbus A320s, bringing the total number of that aircraft type in its fleet to 10. The low-budget, no-frills carrier expects to take receipt of the new planes sometime between 2007 and 2010. No value for the order was given.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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