Airbus has delivered its first A350 widebody jet (Registration B323H) from its Tianjin completion plant to China Eastern Airlines on 21st July 2021. China Eastern Airlines is the largest Airbus operator in Asia, and it is in the second position on a global level. The airlines operated an Airbus fleet of 413 aircraft by the end of June 2021,349 of Airbus A320, 55 of Airbus A330, and 9 of the Airbus A350 aircraft.
The project inauguration and first aircraft delivery ceremony was held at North China’s Tianjin on Wednesday. The Airbus completion facility at Tianjin did most of the work as installation of the cabins, painting, and delivery; the Airbus family didn’t conduct their final assembly at the China-based plant; it was more of finishing touches to the aircraft before its delivery.
First Final Assembly Line of Airbus
During the delivery ceremony on Wednesday, the CEO of Airbus China, George Xu, stated that the Tianjin plant in China is the only plant outside the EU capable of producing both single-aisle and widebody jumbo jetliners in the world. Xu also said that China has become a global and long-term promising partner for the giant aviation company. He further added although the facility is targeting a huge market in China, the plant will also deal with overseas customers if they wish to get the Airbus aircraft from China. The facility will not neglect the possibilities of increasing the production rate for the Airbus A350.
The establishment of the China-based has let the Airbus family get close with the customers in the Chinese market and update the needs of their clients with the localized solutions. Besides giving final touches to the Airbus aircraft, the Tianjin-based facility also does production test flights, accepts customer flights, and delivers aircraft to clients. Currently, about 200 suppliers in China contribute to covering all life cycles of the aircraft. Airbus, one of the major players in the aviation industry, had $1 billion annual industrial spendings for the commercial aircraft business in China in 2020, which had increased by 60% compared to the 2016 yearly spendings.
As of now, the Tianjin facility of the Airbus family has delivered 45 of the A350 aircraft to Chinese customers, including the two major airlines of the country, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and China Air. Besides the A350 segment, it has also delivered A330 and A320 variants to carriers like Bejing Capital Airlines, Air China, Air Asia, Sichuan Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines, Loongair including China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines. And, has further received 915 orders of the Airbus A350 variant from 49 customers worldwide, the final assembly line at Tianjin is expected to play a significant role in delivering the client their ideal aircraft in a timely manner.
Airbus Tianjin Facility
The Tianjin Airbus final assembly line was opened in 2008; it is one of the four final assembly points of the Airbus family, others being located at Toulouse, France, Hamburg, and Germany. The facility was started to meet the demand of the dynamic air transportation market and expand its horizon on a global level to strengthen its global industrial network.
1st A 350 delivered from China!— FATIII Aviation (@FATIIIAviation) July 21, 2021
Airbus Tianjin delivered an A 350 to China Eastern today. Airbus Tianjin plans to deliver 4 more A350s to Chinese carrier in 2021. Cabin installation, painting and flight test will be done in Tianjin, China after the aircraft roll off FAL in TLS. pic.twitter.com/tg8sAl0RGb
The joint venture established with the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and China Aviation Industry Corporation was only possible with the strategic decision, courage, and innovative implementation. The establishment has become a model for Sino-European cooperation, creating new business development opportunities in China and globalization possibilities of Tianjin and China’s aviation industry.
The facility at first assembled the A320 segment from the Airbus family in 2009 and has sold an overall 380 of the A320 jetliners to Chinese and international clients. The reason behind the high demand for the Airbus aircraft from the facility can be credited to the consistent and predictable performance, on-quality manufacturing and deliveries, as well as the on-time support from the Tianjin facility. The establishment of an industrial footprint in a huge market like China was undoubtedly a strategic investment to increase its global reach and establish a long-term strategic partnership with China.
The Airbus family’s biggest rival, the Boeing family, opened its first 737 China-based plants in December 2018.
Now, the A320 family’s final assembly line at Tianjin has more than 730 employees and has been expanded to the widebody jetliner segment with the completion and delivery center for the A330s segment of the Airbus family.