Breaking News

700th A320 Family Aircraft

Airbus Delivers 700th A320 Family Aircraft Assembled in Tianjin

Beijing, July 09, 2024, The Europe Today: European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has achieved a significant milestone by delivering its 700th A320 family aircraft assembled at the A320 Family Final Assembly Line Asia (FALA) in Tianjin, China. The landmark delivery was announced on Monday.

Christoph Schrempp, general manager of the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Center, highlighted the importance of this achievement, stating, “It means that at least every third Airbus A320 aircraft in China comes from Airbus Tianjin. It underlines the strong commitment of Airbus to China, the Chinese aviation market, and its continuous development.”

The 700th aircraft, an A320neo featuring 180 economy class seats, was handed over to Chengdu Airlines. Chengdu Airlines CEO Wang Shushi noted that the airline now operates 50 Airbus aircraft.

Established in 2008, the FALA in Tianjin is Airbus’s first production line outside Europe. Over its 15 years of operation, it has become a model of successful China-Europe cooperation. The FALA delivered its first A320 aircraft in 2009 and reached its 500th delivery by the end of October 2020. Achieving the 700th delivery in under four years further underscores the strength of the partnership between Airbus and the Chinese aviation industry.

“This figure highlights the long-standing and in-depth cooperation between Airbus and the Chinese aviation industry,” said George Xu, Airbus executive vice president and Airbus China CEO. Xu emphasized Airbus’s expanding industrial footprint in China and the increasing presence of Chinese elements in Airbus aircraft.

According to Flight Master, a Chinese intelligent air-travel platform, China handled approximately 2.7 million civil aviation flights in the first half of 2024, marking a 14.8 percent year-on-year increase. China’s five-year development plan for civil aviation aims for a passenger transportation volume of 930 million passengers and a cargo and mail transport volume of 9.5 million tonnes by 2025.

“China is Airbus’ largest single-country market globally,” Xu stated, noting that deliveries to Chinese customers account for about 20 percent of Airbus’s total global deliveries. Airbus’s market share in China has risen from around 20 percent in 2008 to over 50 percent this year.

The FALA has also delivered aircraft to international airlines such as Hungary’s Wizz Air and the Philippines’ Cebu Pacific. Xu attributed Airbus’s global supply capabilities to China’s stable aviation industrial chain.

“We firmly believe that the Chinese aviation market has remarkable potential and will continue to hold an important position. We must seize this strategic market,” Xu added.

The second FALA project in Tianjin, which began construction in September 2023, is progressing swiftly and is expected to be operational by early 2026. Upon completion, Airbus’s global production network will include 10 final assembly lines: two in Tianjin, two in Toulouse, France, two in Mobile, United States (one under construction), and four in Hamburg, Germany.

“Airbus’ A320 family aircraft production capacity in China will account for 20 percent of our global total capacity,” Xu noted.

Airbus forecasts that China’s aviation transportation will grow at an average annual rate of 5.3 percent over the next 20 years, exceeding the global average of 3.6 percent. The company anticipates a global demand for more than 40,000 new aircraft by 2042, with over 9,000 of those delivered to China.

“Airbus remains dedicated to strengthening strategic collaboration with China and fulfilling our long-term commitment to this thriving market,” Xu stated. He reaffirmed Airbus’s willingness to continue working closely with Chinese partners to promote high-quality development in China’s civil aviation sector and to foster China-Europe exchanges and cooperation.