Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer, has announced plans to double its production in China as it moves ahead with new orders. The company said it aims to increase the number of aircraft produced at its Tianjin facility from six to twelve per month, starting in 2023. The move comes as Airbus secures new orders from Chinese airlines, and as China’s aviation market continues to grow.
The announcement was made during a ceremony at the company’s Tianjin plant, which was attended by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and French Prime Minister Jean Castex. Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the expansion was a sign of the company’s commitment to its partnership with China, and to the development of the country’s aviation industry.
“We are proud to be a part of China’s aviation success story,” Faury said. “Our partnership with China is built on trust, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to innovation and excellence. We look forward to working together to create a brighter future for the aviation industry.”
Airbus’ relation with China
Airbus has been operating in China for more than 30 years, and its Tianjin facility, which opened in 2008, is the company’s first final assembly line outside of Europe. The plant currently produces six A320 aircraft per month, and the new expansion will see this number double to twelve per month. The A320 is one of the most popular aircraft models in the world, with more than 10,000 delivered to airlines around the globe.
The expansion is expected to create thousands of new jobs in the region and will help to further develop China’s aviation industry. China is already the world’s largest aviation market and is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years, driven by rising incomes and increasing demand for air travel.
During the ceremony, Airbus also announced new orders from Chinese airlines, including 40 A350 XWB aircraft from China Eastern Airlines and 30 A320neo aircraft from China Southern Airlines. The orders are worth a combined total of around $10 billion and are a further sign of China’s growing importance in the global aviation industry.
“We are delighted to have secured these new orders from our valued Chinese customers,” Faury said. “These orders are a testament to the strong relationships we have built with our partners in China and to the quality of our products. We are confident that the A320 and A350 XWB will help our customers to meet the growing demand for air travel in China and around the world.”
Looking at the larger picture
The expansion of Airbus’s Tianjin plant is part of a wider trend of Western companies increasing their investment in China, despite concerns about political tensions and intellectual property issues. Many multinational companies see China as a key growth market and are keen to tap into the country’s large and increasingly affluent consumer base.
However, some experts have warned that Western companies operating in China may face challenges in the coming years, as the country seeks to increase its self-sufficiency and reduce its dependence on foreign technology. In recent years, China has launched a number of initiatives aimed at boosting domestic innovation and reducing reliance on imported products.
Despite these challenges, Airbus’s announcement shows that the company is committed to its partnership with China and to meeting the growing demand for air travel in the country. With the expansion of its Tianjin facility, Airbus is well-positioned to play a key role in China’s aviation industry in the years to come.