Economic Watch: Airbus breaks ground on second China final assembly line-Xinhua

Economic Watch: Airbus breaks ground on second China final assembly line

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-09-28 17:44:45

TIANJIN, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Airbus on Thursday broke ground on its second final assembly line in China as the European aircraft manufacturer seeks expansion in the Chinese market.

The groundbreaking in north China's Tianjin Municipality marks another milestone after Airbus signed an agreement on the project with Tianjin Free Trade Zone Investment Company Ltd. and Aviation Industry Corporation of China, Ltd. in April 2023.

The expansion project is planned to enter into service at the end of 2025, Airbus said in a statement. It will be able to manufacture both A320 and A321neo aircraft, the newest single-aisle aircraft of Airbus, to meet surging demand.

The second final assembly line (FAL) at Airbus' Tianjin site is part of Airbus' overall production expansion plan for the A320 family. It aims to produce 75 aircraft per month in 2026, facilitated by the operation of ten global FALs, which include two in Tianjin, two in Toulouse, France, two in Mobile, United States, and four in Hamburg, Germany, according to the statement.

The expansion project showcases Airbus' long-term commitment to the Chinese aviation industry.

This is a powerful vote of confidence in the future of aviation here in China, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said via video link, adding that it also underlines Airbus' long, trustful and successful relationship with partners in China.

The domestic and international traffic in China, home to some of the world's leading airlines, is set for rapid and long-term growth, Faury added.

"This year marks the 15th anniversary of the inauguration of Tianjin FAL, with over 630 single-aisle aircraft assembled and delivered. This means roughly 30 percent of the Airbus planes flying in China have been assembled here," said George Xu, Airbus executive vice president (EVP) and Airbus China CEO.

Airbus Final Assembly Line Asia in Tianjin, inaugurated in September 2008, is its first final assembly line located outside Europe.

The expansion project demonstrates that Airbus is continuing to invest in its facilities in Tianjin to better serve the Chinese market through its global production system, Xu said.

"For 15 years our Final Assembly Line in Tianjin has been key to our global industrial strategy to assemble aircraft close to our customers and to partner with China's aviation sector for a thriving industry," said Julie Kitcher, Airbus EVP Communications and Corporate Affairs.

As a major Sino-European strategic cooperation project, the Airbus Tianjin project is setting up an important platform for bilateral pragmatic cooperation, joint development and mutually beneficial outcomes in the aviation sector, said Hao Zhaoping, president of Aviation Industry Corporation of China, Ltd.

It will also play an important role in stabilizing the global aviation industrial chain and boosting the recovery of the global aviation market, Hao said.

Li Chunlin, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said the commission will support Airbus in working with Chinese partners to expand cooperation in the future while giving full play to their respective strengths.

"The COVID pandemic is now behind us. The future of aviation is bright. And we are writing a new chapter of it here in Tianjin," Faury said.