Airbus has signed today the Framework Agreement with a Chinese Consortium comprising Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ), China Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I) and China Aviation Industry Corporation II (AVIC II) in Beijing on the establishment of an A320 Family Final Assembly Line in China. This follows the study initiated in late 2005 and is part of Airbus’ commitment to increasing its industrial cooperation with China.

Chinese Consortium Representative Feng Zhijiang and Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer, and EADS co-CEO Louis Gallois, signed the Agreement at the Great Hall of People in the presence of the Chinese President Hu Jintao and the visiting French President Jacques Chirac.

Under the Framework Agreement, Airbus will set up an A320 Family Final Assembly Line in Tianjin, and the corresponding joint venture is to be created between a Chinese Consortium led by TJFTZ and Airbus. The agreement, which covers all major issues related with the establishment of the Final assembly Line in China, is subject to formal approval by the Chinese government. Aircraft assembly in China is planned to begin in early 2009, with the aim of ramping up production to reach four aircraft per month by 2011.

“We are both proud and delighted with this outstanding development in the field of industrial cooperation with China. While the aircraft sections will continue to be produced in Europe, the establishment of such an assembly line, which will deliver aircraft to the same standards as those produced in Europe, is beneficial to both China and Europe. It can only further strengthen our industrial and business relationship. We look forward to the day when we can deliver the first aircraft assembled in China to this fast growing and dynamic market, ” said Louis Gallois.

Airbus is committed to forging a long-term strategic partnership with China. Six Chinese manufacturers are already involved in manufacturing parts, such as wing components, emergency-exit doors and maintenance tools for Airbus aircraft. In July 2005, Airbus (Beijing) Engineering Centre was formally inaugurated in Beijing. On-site customer services and technical support teams are now available in 20 Chinese major cities. A world-class training and support centre, which represents a US$80 million investment by Airbus, is fully operational in Beijing.

Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS company.