Over the course of its 25-year commercial and industrial relationship with China, Airbus has consistently increased its market presence in the country’s air transport sector – which in recent years has seen a greater number of aircraft orders, a ramp-up in deliveries to Chinese carriers and the establishment of Airbus’ A320 final assembly line in Tianjin.
The growing profile for Airbus in China will take centre stage at this week’s Airshow China 2010 exhibition, which is being held 16-21 November at Zhuhai Airport.
During the past decade, the in-service fleet of Airbus aircraft in mainland China has grown on average by more than 20 per cent annually. To date, over 630 Airbus jetliners are in operation with 12 Chinese carriers – representing 43 per cent of the country’s fleet of passenger aircraft with capacity over 100 seats.
Orders from Chinese customers currently stand at 738 aircraft, which include 596 A320 Family jetliners and five A380s. In 2010 alone, Airbus signed agreements for 77 new aircraft, including 59 A320 Family aircraft, 10 A350 XWBs and eight A330s; while delivering 93 airliners.
Among the highlights at this year’s Airshow China is a visit from Airbus’ 21st century flagship A380, which is taking part in the biennial event’s flying demonstrations as well as the exhibition’s static display.
The A380 represents a new-generation solution to help ease airport congestion and accommodate growth in China’s booming air transport market over the coming 20 years. The first Chinese customer for this jetliner is China Southern Airlines, which ordered five of the double-deck aircraft in 2005. Deliveries are scheduled to begin during 2011.
Airbus’ industrial presence in China is highlighted by its A320 final assembly line in Tianjin, which began operations in 2008 and delivered its first aircraft in May 2009. From 1 January to 26 May 2010, Airbus delivered a total of 10 A320 Family jetliners assembled in Tianjin – demonstrating that this facility’s production ramp-up was on track at the rate of two aircraft per month.
The Chinese final assembly line’s output will continue to ramp up to the planned three monthly pace by 2011. As of this month, the facility had delivered a total of 33 aircraft, composed of 11 in 2009 and 22 so far in 2010.
In October, Airbus opened a new extension at its supplier village in Beijing to provide enhanced and more efficient support for operators of Airbus aircraft in China – including information and communications technology (ICT) and other logistics support.
Additional information on the latest Airbus products and services are being provided during Airshow China 2010 at the Airbus display stand (Hall 1, C 1-1), where it is exhibiting with parent company EADS.
This exhibit will include a cutaway model of the new A330-200F freighter, which offers better payload, range and economics than previous-generation freighters in its class.