March 2, 2016 – The latest development in Airbus’ strategy to expand its global footprint and its operations in China is the construction of an A330 completion and delivery center (C&DC) in Tianjin, China. The A330 C&DC will cover aircraft completion activities including cabin installation, aircraft painting and flight test, as well as aircraft delivery and customer flight acceptance. The center will be co-located at the same site as the Airbus Tianjin A320 Family final assembly line and the Airbus Tianjin delivery center.
“The ground breaking ceremony for the A330 C&DC in Tianjin marks a new milestone for Airbus’ international footprint and underlines the strong cooperation with our Chinese partners,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ president and CEO. “This event is significant because the A330 C&DC in Tianjin is our first completion and delivery center for wide-body aircraft outside Europe. Airbus’ long-standing cooperation with China spans single aisle and now also wide-body aircraft, and we will continue to look for further opportunities in the future.”
Above: The ground-breaking ceremony for the center was attended by (from left to right): Duan Chunhua, vice mayor of Tianjin; Lin Nianxiu,vice mayor of NDRC; Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and CEO; Lin Zuoming, chairman of AVIC
In summer 2014, Airbus, Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) signed a framework agreement on setting up an A330 C&DC in Tianjin. The A330 Family aircraft to be completed at the A330 C&DC Tianjin will be assembled in Toulouse, while painting and cabin fitting will be performed in Tianjin.
According to Airbus, this new center supports the company’s forecast for passenger air traffic in China, which it predicts will grow well above the world average of 4.6%. The average annual growth for the domestic air traffic market in China will be at 6.9%, says Airbus, with that for the international market forecast to be at 6.8%. The key underlying factors for the forecast are a positive long-term economic outlook for China, an increasing Chinese “middle class”, and expanding outbound tourism.
According to Airbus’ 2015-2034 Global Market Forecast, new deliveries to China of passenger aircraft with over 100 seats and freighters of greater than 10 tonnes, will be around 5,400, comprising 3,630 single-aisle aircraft and 1,770 twin-aisle and very large aircraft. This represents about 17% of the world total demand for 32,600 new aircraft in the same period. The total market value for the forecast new aircraft to be delivered to China is over US$840 billion, according to the forecast.
At present, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators comprises more than 1,240 aircraft (over 170 A330 Family and over 1,000 A320 Family aircraft). Airbus A330 is the most popular wide-body aircraft in China.