February 04, 2014
Airbus is offering to build an A330 completion center in China, probably in Tianjin, says a manufacturing industry official, as the European airframer steps up efforts to promote the type as an answer to China’s shortage of pilots, technicians and airspace capacity.
In return for the completion center, Airbus is asking China to commit to buying a large number of A330s, possibly 200, says the official.
The Chinese government, which heavily influences aircraft purchase by the mainly state-owned airline industry, is still considering the offer. The proposal has accompanied Airbus attempts to promote lightweight certification of the A330 as creating a Chinese version of the type, while Boeing is arguing that narrowbodies offer better economics for China’s domestic routes.
The offer completion center has apparently been made as part of talks for orders to fill requirements for the next five-year planning period, 2016-20, although the facility and its deliveries would presumably last longer than that.