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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Business
Airbus’ first overseas wide-body jet plant opens
    2017-September-21  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

AIRBUS SE is courting China with its first wide-body jet facility outside Europe, positioning the company to chase billions of dollars in potential orders from an aviation market that’s set to become the world’s biggest within a decade.

Chief operating officer Fabrice Bregier inaugurated the US$200 million completion center in Tianjin yesterday. The site is designed to give finishing touches such as painting and cabin installation to A330 aircraft and aims to roll out two planes a month in a year. The city is already home to an assembly plant that produces single-aisle A319s and A320s.

In a race to earn Chinese goodwill, Airbus and Boeing Co. are moving parts of their manufacturing and supply chains to a country the U.S. company estimates will need US$1.1 trillion of aircraft over two decades.

The two aerospace giants are also moving delivery closer to customers in Asia to help ease the strain on the planemakers’ existing facilities. The first A330 off the new line was handed over to Tianjin Airlines during the inauguration.

Airbus is also building a helicopter plant in the coastal city of Qingdao while Boeing has started construction of a finishing center for its 737 narrow-body jets on Zhoushan island, south of Shanghai. Besides these facilities, the two are also in joint ventures with units of State-owned Aviation Industry Corp. of China, or AVIC, to supply aircraft parts.

China has placed billions of dollars in orders with the companies. In July, Airbus won contracts worth US$22 billion to supply State-owned China Aviation Supplies Holding Co. with 100 of the A320-series jets and 40 of its latest twin-aisle A350s. In 2015, planemakers won orders valued at US$102 billion for some 780 aircraft.

“A completion center doesn’t cost very much compared with a final-assembly line,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace consultant at Teal Group in Fairfax, Virginia. “So, if it results in a modest number of additional Chinese orders, it’s worth the investment.”

But competition is brewing slowly in China. State-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, which tested its home-built single-aisle C919 jet in May, said Tuesday that it won orders for as many as 130 of the aircraft while it still waits for certifications from regulators. The company said its order book is now at 730 planes. It has also teamed up with Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. to develop a wide-body model which it aims to deliver by 2027.

“The new facility is undoubtedly going to help with advanced manufacturing for China, considering this is the first facility for wide-bodies,” said Wang Guangqiu, deputy director of Beijing Skyrizon Aviation Industry Investment Co. “However, be it Airbus or Boeing, none of them will be willing to transfer their core technologies and create a competitor. Moving part of the manufacturing facility here is just for reducing cost and being close to the market.”(SD-Agencies)

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