A Chinese official said on Tuesday China had three advantages in producing Airbus 320 planes, which are now being assembled from this month in north China's port city Tianjin.
"The market for China-made large-scale planes is China itself and the neighboring countries. Secondly, the A320 planes produced in China have the same quality standard as Europe," said Gou Lijun, director of the Administrative Committee of Tianjin's Binhai New Area.
Gou noted that, in some aspects, the China-made planes had better quality than the Europe-made ones, and because costs were less in China than Europe, China-made A320s were more competitive.
The A320 final assembly line, in the Binhai New Area, is run by a joint venture established in June last year between European aircraft maker Airbus and Tianjin Zhongtian Aviation Industry Investment Co., a Chinese alliance of China Aviation Industry Corp I, China Aviation Industry Corp II and Tianjin Bonded Zone Investment Co. The first plane will be assembled in August.
As Gou said, based on the present plan, the joint venture would produce 44 planes annually by 2011. By 2016 a total of 284 planes would be assembled. Now the planes were produced by orders from clients, said Gou.
At the same time, China itself is also developing large-scale planes. This May saw the establishment of Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd., a company dedicated to the development of large-scale planes. Sources with industry noted that China's cooperation with Airbus could accumulate experience for its own development of large-scale planes.
"We are now confident about the project," said Gou, "we will increase the output and further our cooperation."
(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2008)