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Airbus Sends First A320 Parts to Tianjin
    2008-06-26 10:00:29     CRIENGLISH.com

  European aircraft manufacturer Airbus started shipping the first aircraft sections to its new A320 assembly line in China's northern port city of Tianjin on Tuesday.

It is the first time Airbus has conducted the final stages of assembly on its planes outside Europe.

In a shipping ceremony held in Hamburg, Klaus Rowe, deputy program executive for the A320, noted that this marks another important milestone for the assembly line in China.

"As all of us know, China has always been an important partner for Airbus. Next year, about one-fifth of every aircraft that is leaving our final assembly lines will be delivered to Chinese airlines, and we foresee this trend will even get stronger, because China is a country with the second-biggest demand in the world for commercial transport aircraft over the next 20 years."

By the end of May, China had ordered more than 700 planes from Airbus. About 260 planes have already been delivered.
The company made an agreement with China in 2006 to build an assembly plant in Tianjin, and it plans to deliver 300 A320 planes by 2016 to satisfy China's demand.

Ma Jinsheng, China's Consul General in Hamburg, said Airbus's Tianjin project has furthered the mutual benefits of Sino-European cooperation.

"Some people worried about the Airbus project in China. They are afraid that China will become a competitor for Airbus. But if you look at the successful experience of Volkswagen in China, you will see that such worries are unnecessary."

Airbus confirmed that the first plane in Tianjin is scheduled for assembly in August. The assembly line will have a capacity of four aircraft per month by 2011.

Six Chinese aircraft manufacturing companies have undertaken cooperation with Airbus. The cooperation programs also include professional exchanges and training.

More than 200 technicians from Airbus will relocate to Tianjin to direct the assembly process.



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