Airbus expects more A320neo orders from China

Beijing
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Airbus expects more orders from China for its re-engined A320neo aircraft in the coming months, after the airframer closed its first deal for the aircraft type in the country last week.

Although the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) has made Airbus's work in China "more complex", its narrowbody aircraft sales for domestic and regional use in the country has not been affected, chief executive Fabrice Breiger said in an interview with Flightglobal.

He added, however, that approval for $12 billion worth of Airbus orders remain suspended as China continues retaliation against the ETS.

"The widebody orders have not been confirmed still," Bregier said.

"We suggest high level discussion to come up with an international solution soon."

He also said that the life of Airbus's Tianjin final assembly line is likely to be extended by 10 years. Details of the extension agreement with its Chinese partners will be firmed by mid-2013.

He confirmed that the Tianjin facility, Airbus's first final assembly line outside Europe, will produce A320neos.

"In principle we will move on to the neo version progressively," Bregier said.

"We will start the production first in Hamburg, then Toulouse and Tianjin."

The Tianjin line, which completed the assembly of its 100th aircraft last week, will increase the production rate to four aircraft monthly by the end of 2012.

Last week, Airbus won its first Chinese neo order when ICBC Leasing signed an agreement for 20 A320neos and 30 A320s.