DALLAS – This week’s French state visit to China saw the signing of numerous cooperation agreements by the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
The Tianjin Free Trade Zone Investment Company Ltd. and Aviation Industry Corporation of China Ltd. signed an agreement to expand the A320 Family final assembly capacity with a second line at Airbus’ Tianjin site.
The aim is to support Airbus’ rate objective of 75 aircraft per month in 2026 throughout its global production network. The French aircraft manufacturer has four A320 Family final assembly sites worldwide.
Airbus also signed a General Terms of Agreement with China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) covering the purchase of 160 Airbus commercial aircraft.
Over the next 20 years, China’s air traffic is expected to grow significantly, leading to a demand for 8,420 passenger and freighter aircraft between now and 2041.
As part of its sustainability strategy, Airbus and China National Aviation Fuel Group (CNAF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost Chinese-European collaboration on the production, competitive application, and formulation of common standards for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF).
In September 2022, the two parties agreed to back commercial and delivery flights in China with SAF. By the end of March, they had facilitated 17 delivery flights and a first commercial flight.
The new cooperation agreement seeks to improve the SAF supply chain by diversifying sources and enhancing SAF production, with a goal of using 10% SAF by 2030.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said, “It underpins the positive recovery momentum and prosperous outlook for the Chinese aviation market and the desire to grow sustainably with Airbus’ latest generation, eco-efficient aircraft.”
Faury expressed his appreciation for the long-standing partnership with Chinese aviation stakeholders and highlighted the importance of cooperation in shaping the future of civil aviation in China.
Airbus has been present in the Chinese market for almost 40 years, starting in 1985 with the delivery of an A310 to China Eastern Airlines (MU). By the end of Q1 2023, Airbus’ in-service fleet in China had exceeded 2,100 aircraft, accounting for over 50% of the market.
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Feature Image: Airbus and China aviation industry sign next phase in partnership | Photo: Airbus