Airbus signs deal to produce A320s in China beyond 2016

Tianjin
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Airbus has negotiated an extension of its A320 final assembly line in Tianjin.

The airframer signed a framework agreement with state-owned airframer Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and the Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) to continue manufacturing A320s in Tianjin beyond the previously agreed upon 2016.

This means that Airbus is likely to produce the re-engined A320neo in China.

The agreement, signed yesterday in Beijing, is part of a series of Europe-China agreements made in the presence of German chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.

A ceremony is also being held at Airbus's final assembly line in Tianjin today to mark the completion of the 100th A320 aircraft in China.

"The completion of the 100th A320 family aircraft by the Airbus Tianjin final assembly line represents a significant milestone for the cooperation between Airbus and china, as well as the airbus strategy of internationalisation, one of the pillars of the Airbus vision for our future," says Airbus president and chief executive Fabrice Bregier.

Airbus won its first neo order from the Chinese yesterday when ICBC Leasing signed for 20 A320neos and 30A320s.

In 2005, Airbus signed an MoU with the Chinese government to set up a final assembly line in China, Airbus's first final assembly line outside Europe.