Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed Japan Airlines’ $9.5 billion order for 31 Airbus wide-body aircraft as a “vote of confidence” for British industry.

Speaking about the order for 18 A350-900s and 13 A350-1000s, he said: “It’s great news that Japan Airlines has ordered 31 of these aircraft with wings and engines manufactured here in Britain. And that they will take to the skies in time for all those travelling to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.

“I have seen for myself the state of the art facilities at the Airbus factory in Broughton where the wings will be made and the Rolls Royce plant in Derby that will build the engines to power these planes.

“It’s a real vote of confidence in the British aerospace industry and demonstrates its central role in helping the UK to succeed in the global race.

“Japan is one of the UK’s most important commercial partners and we look forward to further deepening our trading relationship through the EU-Japan Economic Partnership which we firmly support.”