The National Development & Reform Commission of China (NDRC) and Airbus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding about the cooperation between the Chinese civil aviation industry and the European manufacturer. The MOU sets the frame for a further upgrade of the cooperation between both parties. It also describes the process to evaluate the fields of enhanced cooperation, including the possibility to establish a Final Assembly Line for single aisle aircraft in China.

Airbus? industrial cooperation with China dates back to 1985 when it signed a first agreement with Xi?an Aircraft Company to produce and assemble access doors for Airbus A300/A310 wide-body aircraft in China. Today, five Chinese companies from AVIC I and AVIC II are involved in producing parts for Airbus aircraft: Chengdu Aircraft Corporation, Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, Xí?an Aircraft Company, Hong Yuan Aviation Forging & Casting, and HAFEI Aviation Industry Co. Ltd.

In industrial cooperation with China, Airbus is committed to further increase procurement volumes to reach US$ 60 million per annum by 2007, and US$ 120 million by 2010.

With regards to research and development, Airbus formally inaugurated the Airbus (Beijing) Engineering Centre in July this year and has so far recruited 54 Chinese engineers, and this will grow to 200 engineers by 2008.

Airbus has also offered the Chinese aviation industry a participation in the A350 programme of up to five percent of the airframe. This participation will include both design and manufacturing. The design will be performed by the Airbus Engineering Centre in China, and the manufacturing of the corresponding parts and components will be under the responsibility of the Chinese aviation industry, mainly AVIC I and AVIC II.

?We are very pleased to enter into discussions about possible next steps of cooperation with our Chinese industrial partners who over the years have developed excellent industrial competences on which we can now draw?, said Gustav Humbert, Airbus President and CEO on the occasion of the MOU signature.

Headquartered in Toulouse, Airbus is an EADS joint company with BAE Systems.