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First China-assembled A320 passes maiden flight
Updated: 2009-05-19 16:15



The first Airbus A320 plane assembled in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin has passed its trial flight from the Tianjin Binhai International Airport Monday. The plane is scheduled for delivery to Sichuan Airlines by the end of June.

Airbus says the Tianjin line is still assembling eight A320s; eleven of the aircraft are due for delivery this year. Starting in 2011, the company will be able to produce 48 A320 planes every year. The Tianjin plant is Airbus's third assembly line and its first outside Europe. The other two plants are located in France and Germany.

The Tianjin assembly line, which began operation in August 2008, is a joint-venture between Airbus and a Chinese consortium comprising the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and the China Aviation Industry Corporation.

According to a report by the Tianjin Airport-based Industrial Zone, China has become the world's second largest aviation market after the United States. The huge market potential has lured world aircraft giants like Boeing and Airbus. In addition to the Tianjin assembly line, Airbus purchased US$70 million worth of high quality components and materials from Chinese companies in 2007 alone.