LONDON – Airbus has successfully delivered its 400th aircraft from the final assembly line in Tianjin, China. The Airbus A320neo was delivered the country’s national flag carrier, Air China, just one day after Boeing announced the delivery of the first 737 MAX from its new Chinese completion center to the same airline.
The Airbus FALA (Final Assembly line Asia) was opened in 2008 and celebrated two major milestones this year, with its 10th birthday, and the delivery of its 400th A320neo aircraft.
Airbus published that “the milestone is a tribute to the excellent industrial cooperation and partnership between Airbus and the Chinese aviation industry.”
A happy anniversary: #Airbus’ first Final Assembly Line outside of Europe – located in Tianjin, #China – celebrates 10 years of quality manufacturing: https://t.co/CAXWZJdUwV #A320 #A330 pic.twitter.com/x3uTQFIpD1
— Airbus (@Airbus) September 28, 2018
Airbus built its first A320neo at the FALA back in October 2017, delivering it to the low-cost carrier, Air Asia. And in just over one year, the manufacturer has produced and delivered 400 planes.
When delivered to AirAsia, the airline’s CEO, Aireen Omar, admitted being “very proud to receive the first Airbus A320neo fully assembled in Tianjin, China and we would like to congratulate Airbus, as well as the Chinese Government for achieving yet another milestone.”
“China is today one of the world’s most important markets for aviation, and we are honored to be part of the development and rapid growth of China’s civil aviation. We are certainly proud to take delivery of this aircraft fully assembled in Tianjin and have this historic aircraft as part of our fleet,” he said at the time.
— Routes Editor (@RoutesEditor) December 3, 2014
The FALA is a joint venture between Airbus and a Chinese consortium, which includes Tianjin Airport economic area zone, as well as Tianjin’s port free trade administrative committee and China Aviation Industry Corporation.
The Chinese Consortium and Airbus hold a 49% and 51% of the shares, respectively, in the venture. The facility in China is one of four Airbus A320 family production facilities around the world, with two based in Europe (Toulouse, Hamburg) and 0ne at Moblie, Alabama in the United States.
In a good position for the Future
When Airbus made its first delivery out of the Chinese assembly line, Erich Chen, President of Airbus Commerical Aircraft China said “I am very pleased to hand over the first A320neo to be assembled in Tianjin to AirAsia. The delivery of the neo is a milestone for our Asia Final Assembly Line, which will help to meet the robust demand of our customers in China and the Asia-Pacific region.”
Today, Airbus has completed yet another major milestone with this iconic aircraft and has continued to show great strides towards the goals that Airbus set out with when they opened the facility.
This milestone not only marks yet another success for the A320 single-aisle program but also puts Airbus in a good place as they continue to push forward to meet the ever-growing demand for planes in China’s thriving aviation market.
The A320neo family has, according to figures from Airbus, captured around 60% of the market with more than 6,200 orders received from more than 100 customers around the world.
All in all, it would appear that with the increasing market demand for single-aisle aircraft continuing to grow through Asia, Airbus will be keen to ensure they continue to provide the planes required.
Airbus has been battling with Boeing for many years for domination in the short-haul market in both Europe and the United States, and now it would appear these two titans in the world of aviation are once again battling it out for domination but on the other side of the globe.