Airbus and China Make Aviation Deals
China and France’s Airbus have signed an agreement in which states that more than a thousand planes and helicopters will be manufactured.
One particular deal, which involves the French aviation company supplying 43 A320s and 27 larger A330 planes, was suspended because of a carbon emissions tax row between the EU and other outside countries.
But now the deal can finally go through after a breakthrough was made when Chinese President Xi Jinping was in France for a state visit.
Among other agreements made between Airbus and China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CASC – The country’s state-owned purchasing company), was a new decade long deal allowing the continued manufacture of planes in Tianjin. The northern Chinese city was the location of Airbus’ first ever aircraft assembly plant outside of Europe in 2009, and negotiations have been going on for months over whether or not to extend the venture past 2016. Now the deal is settled until at least 2025, though Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brègier said that production will stay at four a month for the time being.
The factory and land of the Tianjin site are able to produce up to eight aircraft a month, and as Airbus and their US rivals Boeing have to keep increasing production to meet demand, the site could play a major part in curbing Airbus’ competition.
The helicopter division of Airbus also announced a deal to work with Avicopter, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China’s helicopter company. Together they will manufacture around 1,000 civilian helicopters (Airbus’ EC175 and Avicopter’s AC352), the first of which are expected the leave the production line later this year.
“The extension of the Tianjin agreement secure production of 1,000 A320 aircraft over 10 years, and these will be the subject of future orders,” said Brègier.
Airbus also said they will work with Safran, a French aerospace engineering company, on turboprop engines, a type of turbine engine, as well as signing 50 more trade agreements with China is various other areas such as in automotive, financial, and nuclear sectors. All of the deals combined are worth more than €7.4 billion (£6 billion/$10 billion).
Around 29% of France’s exports to China pertain to aviation engineering, known as aeronautics, and a fifth of the company’s global production happens on China’s mainland, so for Airbus and CASC to overcome their trade dispute is going to push in the right direction for both of them.