Airbus signed today a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to formalise the commitment of allocating five per cent of the A350XWB airframe to the Chinese aviation industry.
The MOU was signed by Chen Deming, Vice Minister of NDRC, and Fabrice Bregier, Chief Operating Officer of Airbus, at the Great Hall of the People in the presence of Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
According to the MOU on Strengthening Industrial Cooperation through A350XWB, NDRC and Airbus will carry out high-level industrial cooperation on A350XWB development and manufacturing work, in order to enhance a closer strategic cooperation relationship between Airbus and the Chinese aviation industry.
Airbus confirms its intent to manufacture five per cent of the airframe of the A350XWB aircraft in China. Airbus will actively involve Chinese enterprises in the A350XWB project to develop the current cooperation and prepare for further possible cooperation for future programmes.
The co-development of A350XWB Work Packages is the key condition to guarantee the success of such cooperation.
On the same day, Airbus also signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) with China Aviation Industry Corporation II (AVIC II) to develop a new cooperation model to support the A350XWB industrialization.
According to the HOA between Airbus and AVIC II, a joint venture manufacturing centre is to be established in Harbin by Airbus and Harfei Aviation Industry Company Ltd, a subsidiary of AVIC II, to produce composite material parts and components for Airbus A350XWB.
The manufacturing centre is expected to be established in the first quarter of 2009. The production scale of the manufacturing centre shall correspond to the work packages for the A350XWB allocated to the manufacturing centre and may be enlarged based on the future Business Plan.
"NDRC encourages the efforts to further enhance industrial cooperation between the Chinese aviation industry and Airbus. The reinforcement of cooperation between Airbus and the Chinese aviation industry will be beneficial for the development of the industry and for Airbus as well," says Zhang Xiaoqiang, Vice Minister of NDRC.
AVIC II President Zhang Hongbiao said: "AVIC II supports Airbus' cooperation strategy with China's aviation industry. Both sides will be dedicated to a long-term and strategic cooperation relationship and will complement each other with different advantages. We believe that there is a big potential for cooperation."
"We are impressed by the fast and sustained growth of the Chinese aviation industry and are extremely proud to be able to contribute to its development with our state-of-the-art, efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft. We demonstrate once again Airbus' commitment to the long term development of China's aviation industry. For Airbus, China is not only an important market, but also an industrial partner. We are making efforts to further strengthen the already existing cooperation," says Fabrice Bregier.
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, the Airbus (Beijing) Engineering Centre was formally inaugurated in Beijing. In June 2006, Airbus signed a joint venture contract with a Chinese Consortium comprising Tianjin Free Trade Zone, AVIC I and AVIC II for the establishment of an A320 Family Final Assembly Line in China. So far, the FAL project is proceeding well on schedule. The total value of industrial cooperation between Airbus and the Chinese aviation industry is expected to be near 200 million dollars per year in 2010 and 450 million dollars per year in 2015.
On the same day, China Aviation Supplies Import and Export Group Corporation (CASGC) signed an agreement with Airbus for 150 aircraft including 110 A320s and 40 A330s. China Southern Airlines signed a contract with Airbus for 10 A330-200s.
The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Each aircraft features fly by wire controls and all share unique cockpit commonality across the range. Airbus A320 Family is the world's best selling commercial jetliner ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family have the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerised cargo system, which is compatible with the worldwide standard wide-body system.
The A330/A340 is a unique family of six true wide-body aircraft models with capacities covering 253 to 380 seats, regional to ultra long haul passenger markets and the 64-69 tonne cargo market. The A330-200 can fly distances up to 6,750 nm / 12,500 km with a full passenger load. The A330 is the unquestioned current leader in its class, with a commanding market share and a continually expanding operator base. Its proven record of superior economics and passenger comfort provides the operator with a significant competitive advantage in the market today. The A330/340 Family has become the industry standard in its category.
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) Family is Airbus' response to widespread market demand for a series of highly efficient medium-capacity long-range wide-body aircraft. With a range of up to 8,300 nm / 15,400 km, it is available in three basic passenger versions: the A350-800 accommodating 270 passengers, the A350-900 seating 314, and the A350-1000 for 350 passengers. The A350 has the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort, the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile cost of any aircraft in this market segment. Each version of the A350 XWB Family is designed to confront the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations, and environmental concerns. Together, they provide unparalleled scope for forward fleet planning.
Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS company.