Airbus to increase aircraft production in China


Airbus facility in TianjinImage copyright
Getty Images

Airbus has struck a deal to increase the number of planes it makes in China as part of a state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The European giant aims to produce six of its A320 jets each month by 2020 at its final assembly plant near Beijing.

During his three-day visit, Mr Macron said both France and China must open up to doing business with each other.

At present, he said, France has “access to markets which is unbalanced [and] unsatisfying”.

He told an audience of French and Chinese business leaders: “If we don’t deal with this responsibly, the first natural reaction will be to close up on both sides.”

As part of the agreement, Airbus said it will “enhance its industrial partnership in Tianjin” which is one of four global facilities that assemble the A320 family of planes, whose wings are made in the UK.

Airbus said it hopes to “strengthen the cooperation with regards to technical innovation, engineering capabilities and supply chain expansion”.

Airbus currently produces four aircraft a month at the facility but said this will rise to five by 2019 before reaching a monthly turnout of six jets by early 2020.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping

The company is one of a number of businesses travelling with Mr Macron on his first state visit since being elected last May.

He has called on Europe to take a more coordinated approach to trade with China.

Mr Macron said that in the past, countries had come to China with different agendas and varying degrees of openness.

“We need a coordinated European approach… that gives China more visibility about our agenda,” Mr Macron said.

“That’s why France is in favour of defining strategic sectors where we want to protect investments… It’s a question of sovereignty as you yourselves have understood very well.”

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