TIANJIN: In addition to the final assembly line for the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, Tianjin may secure a part of the work that Airbus has allocated to Chinese counterparts for its A350 program.
"Negotiations are underway between Airbus and relevant Chinese counterparts to locate a part of the A350 work in Tianjin. It will involve a new segment within the airplane manufacturing industry," Marc Bertiaux, vice-president of Airbus Cooperation and Partnership with China, said.
Bertiaux did not, however, disclose details of the possible new project in Tianjin citing commercial considerations. Airbus had signed a deal with China's top planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, in 2007 wherein it agreed to allocate 5 percent of the A350 XWB airframe work to the Chinese aviation industry.
The port municipality of Tianjin was also best placed to compete with other cities for Airbus' planned logistics center in China, Bertiaux said.
The Airbus Logistics Center is supposed to offer efficient and effective logistics services for Airbus' airplane manufacturing activity in China.
"The Logistics Center is expected to ship components in and out of China fast and cost effectively. The location of the center will be decided later this year," Bertiaux elaborated.
The Tianjin municipal government is highly positive about the possibility of hosting the Airbus Logistics Center.
Tianjin boasts of a well-developed harbor, train and freight connectivity and is therefore a good choice for the proposed logistics center, Bertiaux said.
Bertiaux is in Tianjin to deliver a speech at the Aeromart Tianjin 2009 conference, a well-known aviation and aerospace exhibition. Airbus and China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) are among the sponsors of the exhibition this year.
The exhibition, which started on Monday and will go till Friday, has witnessed a record participation from 336 enterprises, with 203 from China and the rest from overseas.
The exhibition serves as a high-end platform for enterprises within this segment to exchange know-how and set up potential partnerships.
This year's Aeromart Tianjin is co-sponsored by Airbus, AVIC, the Tianjin municipal government, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and Business Conventions International (BCI) of France.
Aeromart was initiated by BCI and has been successfully held in France for 12 years. Aeromart Beijing 2007 was the first time that China hosted the event, which attracted more than 160 aerospace and aviation enterprises worldwide.
"Now we have doubled the number of participants. And we plan to double this year's number in a few years," Bertiaux stressed.