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UPDATE 2-China Southern Airlines places order for 40 Airbus jets

(Adds Airbus comment, background)

Sept 22 (Reuters) - China Southern Airlines Co Ltd said on Thursday its unit has placed an order with Airbus SE for 40 A320neo-family aircraft worth $4.85 billion.

The deal comes months after three Chinese state airlines placed an apparently coordinated order for nearly 300 Airbus jets, the biggest order by Chinese airlines in about 5 years.

The new order for 40 jets was on top of the bulk order for 292 aircrafts announced in July, an Airbus spokesperson said.

Boeing's Chief Executive Officer Dave Calhoun said earlier this week the outlook for selling planes to China in the next one or two years was negative. The 737 MAX has not flown commercially in China since March 2019, when it was grounded after two fatal crashes.

The Airbus deal follows China Southern Airlines' order in August for 96 A320neo-family aircraft worth $12.25 billion. (https://bit.ly/3BXZThK)

The jets will be delivered to Xiamen Airlines between 2024 and 2027. Xiamen Airlines is majority owned by China Southern Airlines and has previously relied exclusively on Boeing jets. (Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan and Tim Hepher; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Shounak Dasgupta)