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Airbus to deliver 80 jets to China
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Airbus will deliver 80 airplanes to China this year, underscoring the resilience of China's aviation market despite its taking a heavy punch during the global financial downturn.

Although the global economy is retreating, Airbus was confident of the Chinese market as its major airlines generated profits during the first half of the year and a 20 percent market expansion, Airbus China President Laurence Barron said Wednesday at the 13th Beijing International Aviation Exposition.

He said the value of Airbus' cooperation with China would increase to 200 million U.S. dollars a year in 2010 from last year's 100 million U.S. dollars, as more than half of the Airbus worldwide fleet has components produced in China. That number will increase to 450 million yuan by 2015.

Airbus' Chinese partners are six aircraft makers including the Xi'an Aircraft Industry (XAC) which will deliver the first set of fully equipped wings to Airbus' A320 aircraft final assembly line in north China's Tianjin in the first quarter of next year.

Besides jet manufacture, Airbus was willing to widen cooperation with China in the fields of logistics, on-board communications systems, air traffic control and air financial services, he said.

China has 514 Airbus planes in service, or 41 percent of its total fleet of large commercial jets, of which 82 percent are A320s, according to Airbus.

Last year, Airbus handed over 73 jets to China, or 15 percent of its global delivery.

China received 53 Airbus aircraft in the year ending Aug. 31.

In August, China's total air traffic turnover grew 7.4 percent from the previous month and 30.6 percent from a year ago, according to data released by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

As of Sept. 12, the country's civil aviation industry had realized a profit of 8 billion yuan (1.17 billion U.S. dollars) for 2009, said the  CAAC.

(Xinhua News Agency September 23, 2009)

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