XI'AN: Xi'an Aircraft Company (XAC), a subsidiary of China Aviation Industry
Corporation I (AVIC I), yesterday made its first delivery of an Airbus A319 wing
box - making the country Airbus' only wing box manufacturer outside Europe.
The wing box, or the main body of the wing and among the toughest structural
parts of an aircraft, is valued $1.75 million per set. It will be dispatched to
the Airbus assembly plant in Broughton in the UK.
"Airbus has ordered 250 sets of wing boxes from our company. We expect to
make two sets this year. Production will pick up to four sets per month by the
end of 2009, and then to six sets per month in 2010," Tang Jun, vice-president
of XAC, told China Daily.
Airbus plans to increase its subcontract volume in China from the current $60
million to $120 million by 2010, about 50 percent of which will be contributed
by the overall wing program, according to company sources.
Yesterday's delivery signals important progress in China's aircraft
manufacturing industry, Tang said. The A319 wing box is the largest and most
complicated Airbus aircraft component a Chinese aviation manufacturer has ever
The wing box is the third phase of the long-term technological partnership
between Airbus and China's aviation industry, which started eight years ago. The
first two phases covered technology transfer of wing leading edge track ribs,
and wing leading edge and trailing edge packages.
The delivery "reaffirms Airbus' commitment to a meaningful partnership with
China," said Laurence Barron, Airbus China president.
According to Tang, XAC and Airbus are in talks on more wing-related
China expects to obtain the rest of the wing-related contracts from Airbus by
2009, said Yang Chunsheng, a senior executive with China National
Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation.
If that comes true, he said, "Xi'an will be able to directly provide Airbus
wings to the future A320 assembly line in Tianjin."
Airbus and Chinese partners officially signed an agreement last month to open
the assembly line there to produce the European aircraft manufacturer's A320
The plant is expected to deliver its first aircraft in early 2009, Airbus
The assembly line will be able to produce four A320s a month by 2011 and a
total of about 300 A320 planes by 2016, the company said.
(China Daily 07/25/2007 page1)