Staff members of European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and Shanghai-based Juneyao Air, who attend the delivery ceremony of the first China-assembled A321neo aircraft, pose for a group photo in front of the aircraft in north China's Tianjin on March 24, 2023. (Xinhua/Zhao Zishuo)
TIANJIN, March 25 (Xinhua) -- European aircraft manufacturer Airbus started delivering A321neo aircraft assembled at its Final Assembly Line Asia (FALA) facility in north China's Tianjin Friday.
The first China-assembled A321neo aircraft was delivered to Shanghai-based Juneyao Air.
"The newly delivered A321neo aircraft is the 88th member of the Juneyao fleet. More will be received within the year," said Zhao Hongliang, CEO of Juneyao Air.
A321neo, the largest member of the A320neo family, can carry up to 244 passengers.
Airbus started to produce A321 series aircraft at the FALA facility in November 2022.
"Relevant final assembly activities and tests went on smoothly, showcasing the maturity of the FALA in China to adapt to new products quickly," said Airbus Executive Vice President and Airbus China CEO George Xu.
"Airbus continues to expand and enhance its comprehensive cooperation with China's aviation industry, underlining the long-term commitment to China to ensure customer proximity while supporting the global commercial aircraft production ramp-up," Xu said.
FALA came into being in 2008. It now assembles and delivers all members of the Airbus A320neo single-aisle aircraft family, such as the A319neo, A320neo, and A321neo aircraft.
At this site in China, the European aircraft manufacturer also carries out the aircraft completion and delivery works of its widebodies, such as the A350 aircraft.
"We have a strong belief in the Chinese aviation market as we see spring coming to the Chinese aviation industry," said Christoph Schrempp, general manager of Airbus Tianjin Delivery Center.
"China's economic growth is the fuel for air travel. In turn, it refuels the requests for the aircraft and aviation industry," he added.
According to the market forecast by Airbus in late 2022, China's average annual growth of aviation transportation will reach 5.3 percent in the next 20 years, higher than the global average of 3.6 percent. ■