Airbus advances Tianjin A330 plant

Updated: 2016-11-01 09:24

By ZHU WENQIAN(China Daily)

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Airbus advances Tianjin A330 plant

Employees stand at the base of a tail fin on an Airbus A330 fuselage during assembly in the Airbus Group NV factory in Toulouse, France. [Photo/Bloomberg]

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus Group SE said its new completion and delivery center in Tianjin will deliver its first A330 to its customer in September 2018.

The new center in Tianjin had finished basic construction work.

The center, inaugurated in March, is the company's first overseas completion and delivery site for the A330. The center has so far recruited more than 110 employees, or nearly 40 percent of the total planned recruitment.

From mid-October, the company sent its first team to on-job training at its final A330 assembly line in Europe.

The Tianjin operations will be responsible for equipping cabins, furnishings, exterior painting and flight-testing. The company said that by 2018, it will deliver two jets every month, and may extend the work to an updated version of the A330 as well as the A350, if there is sufficient demand from the market.

Airbus China Chief Operating Officer Francois Mery said the cabin installation work of an A330, compared with a single-aisle aircraft such as A320 or B737, is four times more in terms of complexity and workload.

"That means we are conducting more complicated manufacturing work with more advanced technologies in China," Mery said.

"We are also looking for suppliers for the cabins and for seats, kitchens, walls, ceilings and other aspects, and we would like to cooperate with Chinese interior suppliers."

By 2020, Airbus aims to do business worth a total of $1 billion with Chinese aviation industry. It also said it is expanding research and development work with Chinese universities and institutions.

Next to the A330 site is the A320 final assembly line launched in 2008. Currently the center produces four aircraft a month, and about 300 aircraft have to date been assembled and delivered in Tianjin.

Last Friday, Airbus' US archrival Boeing Co revealed that the city of Zhoushan in Zhejiang province, a city in east China near Shanghai, is to be the location of its first overseas single-aisle jet B737 completion and delivery center.

With it, the company said it aims to help meet the strong demand for single-aisle aircraft in Chinese and international markets.