Airbus welcomes 100th mid-fuselage for A220 from Liaoning supplier
Published: Jul 10, 2021 12:19 AM
A220 Photo:Xinhua


European airplane manufacturer Airbus received the 100th mid-fuselage for its A220 aircraft from a key supplier in Northeast China's Liaoning Province on Friday, showing that China is playing a growing role in the aircraft industrial chain.

Chinese aviation players are responsible for one third of the manufacturing work for A220 airframes, which means every A220 in the world has components provided by China, Airbus China COO Michel Tran Van said on Friday.

The A220 is a 100- to 150-seat aircraft for short-haul flights. It is a supplement to the A320 family of aircraft and the latest Airbus single-aisle aircraft.

So far, the A220 has received about 650 orders from more than 25 customers around the world, and there are over 150 now in service. Airbus said it is also having discussions with some Chinese airlines that are showing interest in the model.

The A220 has 15 suppliers in China. Airbus said the value of industrial cooperation between Airbus and Chinese suppliers for the A220 last year was double that of 2018.

Airbus said the A220 has been its only aircraft model that has not seen decreased production since the COVID-19 pandemic. The monthly production rate for the A220 is expected to reach six per month next year, and the target will be around 14 aircraft per month in five years.

Deng Yudong, chairman of SAC Commercial Aircraft International, said that the epidemic has not affected production and the company has managed to maintain stable output.

He also showed confidence in future cooperation, given "the maturity of the supply chain and production line for China's civil manufacturing industry chain, and the establishment of a stable development environment through Sino-European cooperation."

This achievement is due to the global cooperation between SAC Commercial and Airbus, Tran Van said, adding that "the suppliers in China have covered all life cycles including innovation, engineering design, manufacturing, production and maintenance."

SAC Commercial Aircraft International is a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China. It is committed to the research and development, manufacturing and service of A220 aircraft body structure products. 

China is an integral part of the global aviation industrial ecosystem, and also an important part of Airbus' global supply chain.

Airbus said in June that the A320 fuselage project undertaken by Xi'an Aircraft International (Tianjin) Corp has commenced operations in North China's Tianjin.

There are about 200 suppliers in China supporting production for almost all of Airbus' commercial aircraft program and covering all life cycles of the aircraft. Airbus' annual industrial spending on the commercial aircraft business in China reached about $1 billion in 2020, an increase of almost 60 percent compared with 2016 levels, according to Airbus.

Chinese experts said it shows the attractiveness of China's huge civilian aircraft market, and also the recognition of China's civilian aircraft assembly technology and the development of the civilian aircraft industry chain.