Airbus has delivered the first A350 from its widebody completion and delivery center in Tianjin, China, expanding its worldwide footprint and long-term strategic collaboration with China.
The A350-900 aircraft was delivered to China Eastern Airlines, Asia’s largest Airbus operator and the world’s second largest.
China Eastern Airlines operated an Airbus fleet of 413 aircraft as of the end of June 2021, including 349 A320 Family aircraft, 55 A330 Family aircraft, and nine A350 aircraft.
“I’m happy that Airbus successfully extended the capability of the Tianjin widebody C&DC to the A350, the newest new generation aircraft, at such a challenging moment in global aviation,” said George Xu, Airbus executive vice president and Airbus China CEO. “This is a new milestone in China and Airbus’ long-term partnership, demonstrating Airbus’ commitment to the country.
Congratulations to China Eastern Airlines, our long-term strategic partner, on receiving the first A350 shipped from China, and I thank them for their continued confidence in Airbus and our products.”
The widebody C&DC, which is located on the same site as the Airbus Tianjin A320 family Final Assembly Line and the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre, handles aircraft completion activities such as cabin installation, aircraft painting, and production flight testing, as well as customer flight acceptance and aircraft delivery.
The center, which can operate on A330s, was inaugurated in September 2017. Then, during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to China in 2019, He Lifeng, Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and Guillaume Faury, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Further Development of Industrial Cooperation in Beijing, announcing that the C&DC would extend its capability to A350 aircraft.
The A350 family had received 915 definite orders from 49 customers globally by the end of June 2021.