100th A320 in China completed
Visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today presided over a grand gathering of some 1,000 people to celebrate the completion of the 100th A320 Family aircraft assembled at the final assembly line in Tianjin.
One day before the celebration, a framework agreement was signed by Airbus, Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the two parties of the Chinese consortium that hold a 49% stake in the FALC joint venture, concerning the shared intention to continue the cooperation on the project beyond the current business plan, which is due to expire in 2016.
“Having a final assembly line in Tianjin has greatly promoted the Airbus brand and image in China and brought us closer to our customers in one of the world’s most important aircraft markets. I would like to congratulate all those involved in making FALC a great success and contributing to a win-win situation for Airbus and the Chinese industry,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO.
Since the agreement for the FALC project was signed in December 2005, China has placed orders for more than 550 A320 Family aircraft. In the mean time, the in-service fleet of Airbus A320 Family aircraft have expanded from some 200 to more than 700 as of end of July 2012
The Tianjin final assembly line started operation in August 2008, In June 2009, the first aircraft assembled in Tianjin was delivered to Sichuan Airlines. Since then a total of nearly 100 aircraft have already been delivered to 11 Chinese operators from Tianjin.