Airbus delivers the first A330 from Tianjin completion and delivery center
Published: Sep 20, 2017 03:23 PM


A Tianjin Airlines plane in Tianjin on Wednesday. Photo: Courtesy of Airbus

Plane manufacturer Airbus delivered its first wide-body A330 aircraft from its Tianjin factory on Wednesday, reflecting the planemaker's determination to expand industrial cooperation with China.

Tianjin Airlines is the first customer to receive the plane, and it is the first time for the Chinese carrier to take delivery of such aircraft in China, instead of Toulouse, France, the headquarters of Airbus.

The factory, called the Tianjin A330 Completion and Delivery Center, began construction in March last year, covering the aircraft completion tasks including cabin installation, aircraft painting and flight tests, as well as aircraft delivery and customer flight acceptance.

The aircraft, which was assembled and equipped in Toulouse with Chinese and European staff, is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and is configured in two classes with 260 seats.

Rolls-Royce said so far the company has received 1,696 engine orders for 848 A350 aircraft from 45 customers, and all A330s currently on order and yet to be delivered to Chinese customers will be powered by the Trent 700.

The aim behind setting up the delivery center is to provide more tailor-made aircraft to China and the Asia-Pacific region at a faster speed, Airbus said, adding the center will have an output of two aircraft per month by 2019.

There already are more than 200 A330 aircraft in service in China, accounting for 55 percent of wide-body fleet operational in the country. In 2015, Chinese carriers signed orders for 75 A330s, and the Tianjin factory will help deliver more aircraft in the near future.

Currently, all the Airbus civil aircraft have parts produced in China, and Chinese companies are an important part of the global industry chain and cover the design, assembly, and delivery.

The total value of industrial cooperation between Airbus and the Chinese aviation industry could reach $1 billion in 2020 from about $500 million in 2015 and more than $200 million in 2010, the company said.