A visit to Airbus Tianjin

Two weeks ago I spent some time in China,
conducting interviews for a bunch of features I’ll be working on for the
Airshow China preshow report.

One of my stops in the country was in Tianjin – to check out Airbus’s first A320 final assembly line outside of Europe. My trip coincided with a
planned ceremony for the completion of the 100th A320 assembled in China. The aircraft went to flag carrier Air China.

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A large pool of local media attended the event together with
a small group of us foreign journalists. It seems Airbus has strong
political support for its project in China
since China premier Wen
Jiabao and Germany chancellor Angela Merkel were both present. This is actually the premier’s
third visit to Airbus’ Tianjin
facility – the first when the assembly centre was officially opened, and the second when it delivered its first assembled aircraft. 

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At the ceremony it was also announced that Airbus will be extending the life of its Tianjin line to beyond its 2016 agreement. A day before, ICBC Leasing also gave the airframer its first A320neo deal in the country with its order for 20neos and 30 of the current type.

After the ceremony, besides being able to steal some shots
of the two political figures, I also had the chance to do a quick interview
with Airbus China president Laurence Barron.

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We were also given a quick tour of the final
assembly line by the outfit’s general manager Jean-Luc Charles. I’ve never been
to Airbus’ Hamburg facility, but was told that
the Tianjin one
looks just like it. 

I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking. Enjoy!

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