Airbus China deal worth over $10 bn signed

An Airbus China deal involving 70 jets and worth over $10 billion has been signed by the European aviation company and China’s state-owned purchasing agency (China Aviation Supplies Holding Company). An EU dispute regarding carbon emission tax on flights had placed the deal on hold.

The order was signed by Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier, the Chinese parties, and the leaders of France and China, President Francois Holland and Xi Jinping.

Among the agreements made today, Airbus will enhance its mutually beneficial cooperation with the Chinese aviation industry in several fields, including the promotion of Tianjin as a major center for Airbus in Asia, and “upgrading industrial cooperation in both scale and level.”

Airbus China joint venture to continue

Airbus, along with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and Tianjin Free Trade Zone have agreed to continue the successful Joint Venture to assemble A320 Family aircraft in the Chinese mainland (FALC Project) for a further ten years.

The next 10-year phase will be from 2016 through 2025 and will increase deliveries to the whole Asian region; from 2017 onwards it will also include the assembly of the A320neo Family. The Tianjin Final Assembly Line’s capabilities will be extended during the second ten-year phase of the agreement.

Airbus wrote in a press release:

“Airbus and the Chinese parties will jointly invite more major component suppliers to develop industrial projects in Tianjin, in order to support the development of the FALC and the formation of a competitive supply chain.”

Chinese aviation growing rapidly

Chinese aviation is growing much faster than the average in the rest of the world. In order to help ensure its sustainability, the future Airbus-Chinese partnership aims to concentrate on addressing these challenges by launching two other areas of cooperation, Airbus announced:

  • Supporting the China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) with state-of-the-art ATM (Air Traffic Management) in order to increase the capacity of Chinese airspace.
  • Facilitating research into regional sustainable jetfuel and other projects to minimize China’s aviation environmental footprint.

There will also be cooperation activities on Airbus wide-body programs. According to the European aeronautics company, “Airbus and relevant Chinese parties will work towards demonstrating the interest of setting up a wide-body aircraft completion centre in China, which includes cooperation on wide-body cabin interiors with AVIC.”

The 70 aircraft order by CAS includes:

  • 43 A320 Family aircraft, and
  • 27 A330 aircraft.

Mr. Brégier said:

“We are going to celebrate 30 years of successful cooperation with our Chinese partners next year and I am proud that today we are strengthening the foundation for extending our successful cooperation into the future.”

“Our partnership with China, the mutual benefits we’ve explored, have been instrumental in furthering our global strategy, and we are honored to have China as an essential pillar in our global setup. We are looking forward to providing top performing aircraft from our Chinese assembly lines for many years to come.”