Airbus is to deepen its co-operation with Chinese airframer AVIC for its single-aisle aircraft production.

A new agreement, signed during German chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Beijing, will see enhancements to A319 and A320 fuselage-equipping works.

These are currently carried out at the final assembly line at Airbus’s Tianjin facility, which also contains an A330 completion and delivery centre.

Airbus states that the first Chinese-equipped A319/320 fuselage will be delivered in the second quarter of 2021.

Its AVIC partnership dates back to 1985, when the Chinese firm manufactured and assembled access doors for A300 and A310 aircraft.

The European airframer also disclosed that, in 2018, it valued its co-operation with the Chinese aviation industry at around $900 million.

Apart from Tianjin, Airbus has A320-family final assembly lines in Toulouse, Hamburg and Mobile, Alabama.

In 2015, it extended its joint venture agreement with Tianjin Free Trade Zone and AVIC to keep the line operating through to 2025.

That will see it start to assemble A320neos in addition to baseline A320s. The airframer has previously indicated that it was keen on upping production of A320-family aircraft at its Tianjin facility.