Aircraft manufacturer Airbus SE announced this week its renewed commitment to bolster its relationship with China's aviation industry and its major players. To achieve this goal, Airbus plans to accelerate its production of A320 aircraft at its assembly plant in Tianjin.
The European company revealed that it plans to churn out at least six A320 aircraft per month at its Chinese final assembly plant. This would essentially double the facility's initial capacity. According to Airbus, its facility in Tianjin, which was established more than a decade ago, has managed to produce around 440 A320 airplanes since it was built.
The company's Tianjin facility is its third-largest assembly line, right behind its facilities in Germany and France. Airbus plans to make its plant in Tianjin its manufacturing center for its entire Asian business. Airbus is apparently already in talks with other carriers throughout Asia, who are eager to purchase the company's products.
Airbus currently holds around 50 percent of the aircraft market in China, which is a drastic jump from the 9 percent it held back in 1996. The company's facility in Tianjin has helped it significantly raise its market share, taking a bunk chunk out of the share held by its closest rival Boeing.
Airbus also revealed that its delivery center of A330 aircraft in Tianjin is also going to be accepting deliveries of its A330Neo and A350 aircraft within the next few years. The delivery center is the company's first wide-body completion and delivery center outside of Europe. The facility makes it easier for the company to quickly deliver its finished products to its customers in China and the rest of Asia.
As the company shifts some of its production into China, Airbus also plans to boost its current supply chain by taking advantage of the services and products provided by domestic and international suppliers. Airbus China's chief operating officer, Francois Mery, stated that they are currently in talks with local Chinese suppliers and providers to help them in the acquisition of raw materials and talent required for their aircraft assembly in China.
Apart from boosting its production within China, Airbus also revealed plans to take advantage of the country's growing technological advancements. Airbus China CEO, George Xu, mentioned during an interview that the company has already established a partnership with China Mobile to utilize its new 5G networks for its products and facilities.
Xu explained that China Mobile's 5G network will allow them to install better monitoring systems, automated logistics, and cameras at their facilities. The executive explained that they are still trying to study and figure out how to apply the advances in 5G technology into their global factories.
As for the progress it has made so far to strengthen ties with major aviation players in the country, Airbus recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Aviation Corp of China earlier this month. The agreement was for the enhancement of Airbus' fuselage equipping in Tianjin. The deal was part of a number of other signed agreements during German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to China.