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Airbus to launch assembly plant in China

Thursday 27/09/2018 - Source: Khaleej Times

BEIJING - Global plane maker Airbus plans to formally launch its assembly plant in the northern Chinese port of Tianjin on Sunday, the company said on Friday.

‘The completion of the first assembly line outside Europe, in China, is a visible cornerstone of Airbus internationalization strategy,’ Airbus said in a statement.

‘It illustrates the key objectives of the company that is to secure growth, to take advantage of lower cost structures, to access talent and resources on a world-wide basis and, simultaneously to support employment and core competences in Europe,’ the statement said.

Airbus signed a joint-venture agreement last year with a Chinese consortium to develop the Airbus A320 Family Final Assembly Line in Tianjin.

Airbus holds 51 per cent of the shares and the Chinese sides holds 49 per cent.

The plant aims to produce four aircraft per month by 2011, reaching the same standards as those assembled in Europe.

Airbus said its facilities in Tianjin were designed to be ‘identical to the latest state-of-the-art Airbus single aisle final assembly line in Hamburg, Germany.’

China also launched a state-backed aviation company in May with the task of producing large commercial jets that will eventually challenge global manufacturers Boeing and Airbus.

But Airbus Chief Executive Thomas Enders on Friday was quoted by China's official Xinhua news agency as saying that his company hoped to cooperate with the new Chinese firm and did not see it as a threat.

‘Competition is always a good thing, it makes us nimble and innovative,’ the agency quoted Enders as saying in Tianjin.

Last November, Airbus said the total value its cooperation with the Chinese aviation industry was forecast to reach nearly 200 million dollars per year in 2010 and 450 million dollars per year in 2015.

Rival Boeing has previously estimated that Chinese airlines could spend some 280 billion dollars on about 2,900 new passenger and cargo planes in the next 20 years, adding to about 1,000 planes already in service.

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