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China-assembled Airbus A320 to be delivered to Sichuan Airlines
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The first Airbus A320 plane assembled in China's northern city Tianjin is due to be delivered to the domestic Sichuan Airlines by the end of June, with a test flight before that after mid-May, Jean Luc Charles, General Manager of the Airbus Tianjin assembly line confirmed Friday.

The Tianjin-based assembly company is expected to deliver a total of 11 A320 aircraft this year, and 15 in 2010. By 2011, the company will be able to produce 48 A320 planes every year, Charles said.

The second Tianjin-manufacturered A320 is to be delivered to the domestic Hainan Airlines, and the third to Shenzhen Airlines.

The remainder of the eight planes on the delivery schedule for this year were either for China Eastern Airlines or Hainan Airlines, he said.

Dong Weizhong, manager of the Tianjin Airport-based Industrial Zone Office, said the Airbus Tianjin company had so far received orders for 284 A320 planes from the Chinese market. Some of the orders are signed for delivery in 2016.

Charles said the ongoing global economic crisis had undoubtedly had an impact on Airbus, but just as one order was dropping somewhere, another one emerged somewhere else, suggesting the robustness of the China aviation market.

Charles also said the Tianjin company's products were mainly for the Chinese market, but the company did not exclude the possibility of supplying planes to neighboring markets in Asia.

According to a report by the Tianjin Airport-based Industrial Zone, China has become the world's second largest aviation market after the United States. The country is estimated to need 2,670 passenger planes in the next 20 years.

(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2009)

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