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Airbus seeks joint ventures in India, China
Updated: 2006-02-22 14:46

Airbus plans to form a joint venture in India to open an engineering and service center, and hopes to also launch a joint assembly line in China, the European airplane company said Wednesday.

The center in India will cater to the country's growing number of airlines, with its service unit to focus on information software, Airbus Chief Executive Gustav Humbert said on the margins of an Asian aviation show in Singapore.

The engineering division will involve subassembly manufacturing of components and employ aerospace engineers, similar to Airbus centers in the United States, China and the company's base in Toulouse, France, Humbert told reporters.

"We hope we can be ready at the end of this year with contracts," Humbert said.

India's aviation industry is growing rapidly, with 25 percent annual growth in both cargo and passenger traffic.

Airbus, the world's biggest commercial aircraft maker in terms of orders, is also making progress with its efforts to start a joint venture assembly line in China.

Humbert said the Chinese assembly line would eventually produce four A320 aircraft a month, though this won't be enough to meet China's demand for the aircraft.

Airbus is exploring four sites to locate the line and expects to start operations at the end of 2008.

Airbus orders from the Asia-Pacific accounted for more than 45 percent of its global orders in 2005, with more than 500 firm orders from 13 customers.

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