Airbus and its Chinese partners, namely the Tianjin Free Trade Zone Investment Co. Ltd. (TJFTZ) and the Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC), have signed a framework agreement on setting up an A330 completion and delivery center (C&DC) in Tianjin, China, taking the partnership between Airbus and China a further step forward following the successful establishment of an A320 family final assembly line and delivery center in the Chinese city.
The agreement was signed by Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and CEO, Yang Bing, president of the TJFTZ and Pang Zhen, vice president, commercial aircraft, AVIC representing the Chinese parties, at the Airbus site in Toulouse, France. The signature was witnessed by visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Premier Li has had a tour of the Airbus facility, accompanied by Prime Minister Valls after they presided over a Europe-China Economic Forum held in Toulouse.
The framework agreement firms-up the Letter of Intent signed by the three parties last year.
“The signature of this framework agreement on the A330 completion and delivery center will open a new chapter of strategic cooperation on wide-body aircraft with China. Together, we will develop new facilities and capabilities, and attract new suppliers and businesses in China,” said Brégier.
The A330 C&DC Tianjin will be located near the site of the Airbus A320 family final assembly line in Tianjin. The C&DC will cover the aircraft completion activities including reception, cabin installation, aircraft painting, engine run and flight test, as well as aircraft delivery and customer flight acceptance.
Under the project, the A330 family aircraft to be completed at the A330 C&DC Tianjin will be assembled in Toulouse but will be painted and have their cabin furnished and installed in Tianjin.
On the same occasion, Airbus has also signed a Letter of Intent with AVIC on cabin development cooperation and procurement frame contract with Zhejiang Xizi Aerospace Fastener Co., Ltd for design, development, manufacturing, and supply of standard fastener parts.
At present, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators comprises more than 1,150 aircraft (150+ A330 family and 980+ A320 family aircraft). In the 20 year period between 2014 to 2033 Airbus forecasts a demand in China for more than 5,300 new commercial aircraft with more than 100 seats, plus freighters.