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12 July 2005
12. July 2005 Commercial Aircraft

China to become world's second largest aviation market


Rapid growth of the Chinese aviation market is expected to generate the need for some 200 large aircraft over the next 20 years, according to Airbus market forecasts.

Speaking at the EU-China Aviation Summit in Beijing, Laurence Barron, Airbus' Vice-President and President of Airbus China said: "Over the next 20 years, China will become the second largest aviation market in the world after the U.S. The number of aircraft delivered to China per year will count for over 10 per cent of Airbus' annual total deliveries worldwide."

Reviewing Airbus' global market forecast, Laurence Barron pointed out the rapid growth of the Chinese aviation market in recent years. From 2000 to 2004, China's total aviation traffic has grown at an average rate of 16.7 per cent. Airbus forecasts it will deliver a total of nearly 1,800 aircraft to China over the next 20 years, i.e. an average of 90 aircraft delivered per year.

According to Airbus' forecast, the fast growing aviation market in China will need at least 200 large aircraft like the A380. At present, China Southern Airlines has purchased five A380s and become the first A380 customer in China. Delivery of the first A380 to China is scheduled for the later half of 2007, in time for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. The other 15 A380 customers have announced their plans to serve major Chinese destinations with 150 weekly frequencies by 2010.

In his speech, Laurence Barron also stressed that Airbus intends to further enhance and develop its industrial cooperation with the Chinese aviation industry. Airbus plans to allocate up to a 5 per cent work share to China in the A350 programme, which is expected to be launched by the end of September 2005.

The Airbus Engineering Centre, a joint venture by Airbus and China Aviation Industry Corporation I and China Aviation Industry Corporation II (AVIV I and AVIC II), is set to start operation this summer in Beijing.

Last October, Airbus signed an agreement outlining plans to further increase its procurement from China. The figure is expected to increase from $U.S. 15 million per year currently to $U.S.120 million per year by 2010. Airbus considers China as a full risk-sharing partner in a future Airbus aircraft programme, in which China's work share will be increased to at least 10 per cent. A full risk-sharing partner takes complete responsibility for a part of a programme, from design to manufacturing, including the corresponding investment and profit sharing.

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