China Aviation Suppliers Import and Export Group Corporation (CASGC) and Airbus extended their cooperation agreement for the joint venture CASC/Airbus Training and Support Centre for two more decades. The companies announced this at a ceremony held today in Beijing celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Centre. The Centre is part of Airbus' US$80 million investment in China.

The CASC/Airbus Training & Support Centre is the first and most modern combined training and customer support facility in China, comprising two separate buildings for training, spare parts servicing and offices, with a total surface area of 13,000 square meters. Since it received the first group of pilot trainees in October 1997, the training centre has provided training for people from more than 30 airlines worldwide. Some 12,000 registered trainees have been trained, including over 10,000 Chinese pilots, maintenance engineers and cabin attendants.

"The CASC/Airbus Training & Support Centre has set an excellent example of Sino-European cooperation in the field of civil aviation," said Yang Guoqing, Vice Minister of General Administration of the Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), on the occasion. "It has played a key role in helping China train a large number of pilots, maintenance engineers and cabin attendants during the past 10 years, which has appropriately matched the increasingly growing demand of the Chinese airlines for more aircrew and maintenance staff."

"Airbus is committed to the development of China's civil aviation industry. In China, Airbus not only sells aircraft, but also provides quality customer services on a daily basis," said Airbus President and CEO Gustav Humbert. "The Centre is part of Airbus' US$80 million investment in China and the renewal of the contract with CASGC will further enhance our close relationship."

The 8,200-square-metre training centre is currently equipped with two full flight simulators, one for the single-aisle A320 family and the other for the long range A330/A340. Each simulator is able to provide 5,000 training hours per year for crew transition and recurrent training as well as training for maintenance engineers. The support centre has a floor space of 5,000 square meters stocking some 21,000 part numbers with a total value of US$22 million.

CASGC President Li Hai said, "We are delighted to renew the contract for the cooperation on the Training and Support Centre with Airbus for two more decades after ten years of close cooperation. CASGC and Airbus have decided to further expand the Training and Support Centre with the aim of providing better and timely services to Chinese customers in the future. The renewal of the contract fully demonstrates our strong confidence in continuing our cooperation with Airbus to cope with the dynamic Chinese civil aviation market."

CASGC is a comprehensive service provider for aviation industry with key business in the import and export of civil aviation products in China. The business range of CASGC covers the import & export, leasing, maintenance and consignment of aircraft, engines, aviation parts, equipment and specialty vehicles etc. Since 1980, it has imported over 800 aircraft for the Chinese airlines.

By the end of March 2006, 264 Airbus aircraft have been put into service on the Chinese Mainland, accounting for 32% of market share. Airbus expects to deliver some 80 new aircraft to China this year, a 20% increase over that of 2005. A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China, Japan and in the Middle East.

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