Airbus reinforces long-standing partnership with China

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/6 19:53:42

Photo taken on September 27, 2018 shows staff members working at Airbus' Tianjin final assembly line for the A320-family of jets in north China's Tianjin. Photo: Xinhua


China and Airbus are strengthening their long-standing partnership as both sides commit to a further deepening and broadening of cooperation in the aviation industry.

Both sides have agreed to take effective measures for new initiatives regarding both Airbus single-aisle and wide-body aircraft, according to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Beijing on Wednesday.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting French President Emmanuel Macron.

As part of Airbus' objective to reach a global A320 Family production rate of 63 aircraft per month in 2021, the Final Assembly Line Asia (FAL Asia) for the Airbus A320 Family in Tianjin remains on track to ramp up its production to six aircraft per month by the end of 2019 - a 50 percent increase compared to its original plan.

A350 XWB capabilities will be extended into the Airbus Tianjin wide-body Completion and Delivery Centre (C&DC) from the second half of 2020. The C&DC is scheduled to deliver its first A350 aircraft from Tianjin by 2021.

"We attach great importance to our long-term strategic partnership with China and its aviation industry," Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said in a statement.

The potential of China's aviation market is huge as China's domestic market is set to become the world's largest. Traffic to and from China has nearly doubled over the last 10 years. According to the Airbus Global Market Forecast, China is expected to require 7,560 new aircraft over the next 20 years.

In both Airbus' single-aisle and wide-body aircraft programs, cooperation is well established. For single-aisle planes, the FAL Asia has been successfully operating for a decade since its inauguration in September 2008. To date, 450 A320 Family aircraft have been delivered from Tianjin to Airbus' Chinese and Asian customers.

For twin-aisle aircraft, the CD&C is the first Airbus wide-body center outside of Europe and was inaugurated in September 2017. It has successfully performed A330 aircraft completion activities including cabin installation, aircraft painting and production flight tests, as well as customer acceptance and aircraft delivery. 

The A350 XWB has garnered 913 firm orders from 51 customers worldwide.

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