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Airbus may link up with China's large aircraft project news
27 September 2008

Tianjin: Global aircraft manufacturing giant, Airbus, is likely to join China's large passenger plane project, its chief executive Thomas Enders said Friday. According to Enders, the Chinese aviation market is expected to become as important as the US and European markets over the next 20 to 30 years and this is one of the main reasons why Airbus had decided to enhance cooperation with China.

Talking to reporters, Enders said he did not perceive China's plans for making large passenger aircraft as a threat to his company.

China set up its ''jumbo passenger aircraft'' company at Shanghai in May this year. The company, called the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (CACC), is expected to produce aircraft with a take-off weight of more than 100 tonnes, or planes with more than 150 seats.

Jin Zhuanglong, the company's general manager, said China welcomes cooperation from foreign companies in the development of new aircraft but, for the first few years, the company would keep the objectives of CACC restricted to establishing an operating system and training talents.

The Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Factory and the First Aircraft Institute of China Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I), which were involved in the development and manufacture of the country's first homegrown regional jet ARJ21-700, have joined hands with the CACC in the plan.

Enders said that Airbus would look forward to cooperating with the Chinese enterprise on big aircraft projects. "We look forward to strengthening research and development with Chinese enterprises and will probably triple outsourcing volume in China, which is to reach half a billion dollars in the next couple of years," he added.

The Tianjin-based Airbus A320 manufacturing plant, Enders said, would be formally inaugurated on 28 September 2008. The assembly plant is a joint venture between Airbus and Tianjin Zhongtian Aviation Industry Investment Co., a Chinese alliance of the AVIC I, AVIC II, and Tianjin Bonded Zone Investment Group.

The facility to assemble Airbus aircraft, set up with an estimated investment of up to 10 billion yuan ($1.3 billion), is expected to ramp up annual capacity to 44 aircraft per annum by 2011.  

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Airbus may link up with China's large aircraft project