Chinese airlines have formally signed multi-billion-dollar deals with both Airbus and Boeing.

In Washington, a group of Chinese airlines Friday made a deal worth up to $7.2 billion with the Boeing aircraft company for 60 new 787 jets.

Boeing had called the planes "7E7's" until now.

The agreement is between the U.S.-based Boeing company and China Southern, China Eastern, Air China and other carriers.

Boeing is betting that its advanced, fuel-efficient jets will appeal to airlines plagued by high oil prices and strong competition. The planes are expected to go into service in 2008.

Meantime, Boeing's rival, Airbus, also signed an agreement with Chinese airlines Friday. That $1 billion deal was signed in Paris, and is for five of the huge new Airbus 380's.

Some information provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.