Chongqing-based West Air, a private airline under HNA group, today took delivery of its first Airbus aircraft, an A319, at the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre (ATDC), the first Airbus delivery centre outside Europe. The aircraft is the 26th aircraft assembled at the Airbus Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin. West Air becomes the newest Airbus operator and the eighth operator of Airbus A320 Family aircraft assembled by FALC.
The aircraft, powered by IAE V2500 engines, is configured in a spacious single class cabin layout for 144 passengers, offering even more comfort and more space for passengers. The first commercial flight is planned on 8th August from Chongqing to Wenzhou. The new jet will be deployed on domestic routes from Chongqing to Wenzhou and via Shijiazhuang to Yantai.
“The low operating costs and cabin comfort of the A319 fit our growth plans as well as our passengers’ high expectations for comfort, style and efficiency in their travel,” said West Air Vice President Chen Zaixin. “The new A319 is well equipped for high altitude operations for our further routes development,” he added.
“Airbus is happy to welcome West Air as a new A319 operator as well as a new Airbus operator in China. With this delivery, the airline will be well-positioned to continue its expansion plans, while operating the most modern and efficient single-aisle aircraft available today,” said Laurence Barron, Airbus China President.
Established in 2005, West Air serves more than 20 domestic routes from Chongqing to other major cities in China.
The A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. With over 6,500 aircraft sold, and more than 4,300 aircraft delivered to some 310 customers and operators worldwide, the A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. With 99.7 per cent reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the worldwide standard wide-body system.
By the end of June 2010, 502 A320 Family aircraft are in operation with 12 operators in China. Chinese airlines have ordered close to 600 A320 Family aircraft in total.
Notes to the editors:
The Airbus A320 Family Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin is the third single-aisle aircraft final assembly line location of Airbus worldwide, after Toulouse and Hamburg. It is also the first Airbus final assembly line outside Europe. Based on the latest state-of-the-art Airbus single-aisle Final Assembly Line in Hamburg, Germany, FALC assembles A320 and A319 aircraft. The FALC is a joint venture between Airbus and a Chinese consortium comprising Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) and China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC). Airbus and the Chinese Consortium respectively hold 51 per cent and 49 per cent of the shares of the joint venture. FALC started work in August 2008. So far, Airbus has delivered 20 A320s and five A319s from Tianjin and the FALC production rate will be ramped up to four aircraft per month by the end of 2011.