Airbus granted 420,000 yuan to the Tibet Mountaineering School and signed an agreement today in Beijing with the school to support the Tibet mountaineering undertaking.

"Airbus has lent us great support, to which we are very grateful," said Nima Tsering, president of the school, who is also a well-know alpinist. "With funds from Airbus, we will build a rock climbing wall. We want to carry out more cooperation with Airbus so as to promote the development of mountaineering undertaking in Tibet and turn out more professionals of international standards."

"A bridge between Europe and China, Airbus is actively promoting the cultural, educational and sports exchanges," said Airbus Executive Vice President for government relations, communication and external affairs. Airbus is firmly behind the Tibetan mountaineering undertaking and the government’s strategy of developing the western region. Airbus is a young company with only 33 years but has become the No. 1 in civil aviation. One of the reason for our success is that we are a young and dynamic company seeking the same spirit as mountaineers, which is to boldly face challenges and aim high."

In recent years, Airbus has been supporting the school with financial assistance and equipment.

In 1999, the Tibet Mountaineering School was founded and recruited more than 20 people in the Himalayan region. In the school, students receive strict training in rock climbing, ice climbing, how to use ropes. They also learn safety knowledge, mountaineering skills and foreign languages. The school has as well sent its students to France and Beijing to attend courses in mountaineering and rescue in high mountains. The school has drawn attention from the government, and was listed one of the 107 key projects for development in Tibet in 2002.

Students at the school and over 100 fans across China recently took part in a national mountaineering event in Tibet and successfully ascended Nyainqentanglha,which is 7,117 meters above the sea level. Nima Tsering brought with him a flag of Airbus to its summit on October 4.

Having over 50 mountains with an altitude of more than 7,000 meters and a number of mountains with an altitude of 6,000 meters, Tibet attracts alpinists worldwide. As the Himalayan region becomes increasingly open to the outside world, more and more foreign mountaineers rushed to the region. One of the goals of the school is to train mountaineering guides, who could play an important role in international cooperation and friendship.

Nima Tsering has become a famous figure after an amateur mountaineering team led by him successfully climbed to the top of Everest on May 21 this year, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of man’s ascent of the mountain. Hundreds of millions of people watched Nima Tsering unfurling on TV a Chinese national flag on the summit.

Airbus is dedicated to be a responsible corporate citizen in China. In recent years, Airbus has built a technical library in the Tianjin-based Civil Aviation University of China (CAUC), and has set up a scholarship at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronomics. The company has also made donations to the Beijing Children's Welfare Institute. To help fight SARS, Airbus China and the China Aviation Supplies Imports and Exports Group Corporation (CASGC) donated a total of 500 non-contact thermometers worth more than 300,000 yuan to the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC), and donated masks worth 100,000 yuan to the Beijing Tianzhu Airport Industrial Zone in June 2003.

Airbus’s business in China has been steadily expanding since it first entered the country in 1985. The Airbus fleet in service in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao has grown to more than 200 today from 29 in 1995. The CASC/AIRBUS Customer Services Training and Support Centre, which represents a US$80 million investment by Airbus, is fully operational in Beijing. Four Chinese manufacturers are already involved in manufacturing of Airbus parts, such as wing components, passenger doors and maintenance tools.

A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.