Following recent investment and a new partnership with China, Airbus is to grow increasingly international. The aerospace giant is set to enlarge its global footprint significantly as China welcomes a new Completion and Delivery Centre (C&DC) in Tianjin, expected to house the Airbus A330.
The new facilities will add to Airbus’ existing presence in the country, and will occupy the same site as the Family Final Assembly Line and Delivery Centre for the Airbus Tiajin A320. Plans were approved by the Tiajin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) back in 2014.
President and CEO of Airbus, Fabrice BrÃ©gier is confident the development will allow Airbus to widen its customer base, commenting that the A330 C&DC was “a new milestone for Airbus’ international footprint”. At the project’s sign off, it will be the company’s first C&DC for widebody aircraft beyond the borders of Europe. Airbus had previous only served China’s single aisle market.
The A330 C&DC Tianjin is is expected to provide a number of key maintanence and manufacturing services. It will incorporate facilities including: cabin installation, aircraft painting and flight test, as well as aircraft delivery and customer flight acceptance. The new A330 Family aircraft is to be the first test for the Tiajin-based facilties. While the new aircraft is to be assembled in Toulouse, final touches like painting and cabin fitting will be conducted at the new C&DC in Tianjin.
The Airbus A330 has been a consistent hit with Chinese operators. Despite not being the most prevalent of any Airbus model in the country, it is regularly billed as the most popular with operators and passengers alike. There are current over 170 Airbus A330 Family aircrafts in use by Chinese operators compared with some 1,000 A320s.
Airbus has long been a leader in the passenger airline market and the new C&DC is the latest in a string of recent investments for the company. The new facilities are hoped to support the firm’s increasing passenger numbers. Demand for air travel in China is, too, expected to grow well beyond the global rate predicted – at a rate of nearly seven percent compared with an international average of just 4.6%. As demand for both domestic and international travel is on the up, China’s economy looks set to continue to to grow. And as the country gets ever more connected with the wider world, exports are set to sky rocket.