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Airbus A320 family aircraft to be assembled in Tianjin
enorth.com.cn   2006-06-09 14:17

 
facts
"China's national planning agency has approved Airbus' selection of Tianjin for the location of its A320 jets assembly line, the first outside the aircraft maker's European base."


(Xinhua)China's national planning agency has approved Airbus' selection of Tianjin for the location of its A320 jets assembly line, the first outside the aircraft maker's European base.

The assembly line will be located in the Binhai New Area (BNA) of Tianjin, a northern port city, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Thursday.

The first aircraft is expected to roll off the line in 2008 and four aircraft will be manufactured every month since 2011, according to a cooperation memorandum between the two sides.

The commission said that the launch of the assembly line is an important step for the two sides to make long-term and sustainable cooperation in the sector of aviation.

Aircraft manufactured by the assembly line will meet completely the standards and crafts of its European assembly line, the commission said.

Presently Airbus is making preliminary preparations for the launch of the assembly line and it will be the first time that single-aisle commercial airliners are entirely produced in China.

Airbus announced its plan to launch the line in China at the beginning of this year, and candidate cities included Tianjin, Shanghai, Xi'an in western Shaanxi Province and Zhuhai in southern Guangdong Province.

China has just announced preferential policies for BNA, to develop it into a research base of modern high-grade manufacturing and an international aviation center in the north, which will provide a good platform for the development of Airbus' assembly line.

A320 is a major single-aisle aircraft model with 150 seats, which has a great market demand.

The great potential of China's aviation market has attracted Airbus to set the line in China, said Dr. Li Yanhua with China's Civil Aviation University.

It has been predicted that China's civil aviation sector will need more than 100 new aircraft every year. In the next 15 years, about 1,200 new aircraft will be needed by China's civil aviation sector.

Airbus entered China's aviation market in 1985, seeing the number of its aircraft in China up by ten times in the past ten years. For the moment, Airbus has taken 39 percent of China's civil aviation market shares, with the remaining 61 percent going to Boeing.

Insiders said that Airbus' launch of assembly line in China will lead to fiercer competition between the two aircraft giants in China.

Experts said that the launch of the line marks an important step for China in manufacturing large aircraft, and also indicates the adjustment of China's strategies for manufacturing large aircraft.

China has put forward the plan of large aircraft manufacturing in its 11th five-year development plan, which has also been listed as a major project in the country's long and mid-term development plan for science and technology.

Dr. Li Yanhua said that the assembly line, to some extent, will promote China's innovation in aircraft manufacturing and help improve concerned technologies.

 

 
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