Airbus has delivered 176 aircraft to China in 2017, its eighth consecutive year of more than 100 deliveries, the company said. One fourth of the Airbus’ total global deliveries went to China in 2017, which include 141 single-aisle A320 plane, 32 medium-size A330s, and three A350XWB wide-body aircraft, it said in a statement yesterday. “2017 marks an incredible year for Airbus as we created a new record of global deliveries of 718. For Airbus, China is a crucial market and a strategic partner with win-win cooperation,” said George Xu, Airbus China CEO. On January 9, Airbus signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Development and Reform Commission on industrial cooperation in Tianjin, north China’s port city.
Airbus and its Chinese partners also signed a framework agreement to raise A320 production at the final assembly line in Tianjin to six aircraft per month from four per month at present. Since, Airbus set up a representative office in China in 1994, it has made rapid progress with cooperation worth about USD 600 million in 2017 and a target of USD one billion dollars per year by 2020, state run Xinhua news agency reported. China introduced the first Airbus aircraft in 1985. Now over 1,500 are being operated by Chinese airlines, accounting for around half of the total fleet of aircraft over 100 seats in the country.
Last year, Airbus rival Boeing has started construction of its first overseas facility in Chinese port city of Zhoushan as part of its plans to produce 737 planes. The construction will consist of two parts — a Boeing 737 completion centre and the delivery centre. It is scheduled to be completed this year. Following its completion, the facility will deliver 8 to 10 planes each month, with an annual production of up to 100 aircraft, according to the plan announced by Boeing.
A Boeing forecast last year said China will need 6,810 new aircraft in the next 20 years at an estimated cost of USD one trillion.