Airbus' new A320 assembly plant in China has already produced two aircraft and is on track to deliver its first before the end of June as scheduled.

Airbus Tianjin general manager Jean-Luc Charles says two aircraft have already been painted and the first has its engines fully installed and the factory is installing the engines on the second aircraft.

Chinese leasing firm Dragon Aviation Leasing owns the first aircraft and this is to be leased to Sichuan Airlines while the second aircraft is going to Hainan Airlines, says Charles.

He says first test flight will be in the second week of May and delivery to the customer will occur before the end of June.

The second aircraft is to be delivered in July, he adds. Airbus has always said the first A320 assembled in China will be delivered in June.

Charles says Airbus Tianjin will deliver 11 A320s this year - 10 of which will be powered by International Aero Engines and one by CFM International engines.

The plant is producing one aircraft "more or less every three weeks" and at year-end it will have increased production to one aircraft every two weeks, says Charles.

While two aircraft are already painted, another six are in the process of being assembled and another one will start to be assembled in the first week of May, he adds.

Airbus Tianjin today has 420 staff of which 110 are foreigners and "we will continue to grow but a little bit below 500", says Charles.

It has 19 buildings on the Tianjin site but "not all are completed", says Charles, adding that the flight line centre will be completed in early May and the second paint-shop will be completed in August.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news