Airbus is gearing up for the start of A320 family final assembly in China next year, with Chinese staff undergoing initial training in Europe.

A320 assembly will be undertaken in Tianjin by a joint venture "service company" in which Airbus will hold 51% and local partner Tianjin Zhongtian Aviation Industry Investment the remainder, says Airbus A320 family programme executive vice-president Alain Flourens.

Airbus A320 China

"The joint venture will assemble and flight test the aircraft, which will have their interiors installed locally and delivered via a fully Airbus-owned delivery centre."

Flourens says assembly of the first Chinese aircraft will begin in the second quarter of 2008, with monthly output building to two aircraft by the end of 2010 and to four in 2011. The Chinese line is modelled on Airbus's Hamburg plant (pictured), and subassemblies will be transported to Tianjin via Hamburg's commercial port on container ships.

Source: Flight International