By Mauro Orru


Airbus SE will be expanding capacity to assemble its A320 narrow-body jets with a second assembly line at its Tianjin site in China, as the European plane maker seeks to produce 75 narrow-body aircraft a month by 2026.

Airbus made the announcement on Thursday as French President Emmanuel Macron visited Chinese President Xi Jinping. Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury signed the production agreement with the Tianjin Free Trade Zone Investment Co. and Aviation Industry Corp. of China Ltd.

Airbus also signed general terms of agreement with the China Aviation Supplies Holding Co. for the purchase of 160 Airbus commercial aircraft, underscoring the significance of the Chinese market for the European company.

China's air traffic is expected to grow 5.3% annually over the next 20 years, much faster than the world average of 3.6%, Airbus said.

Travel restrictions and border closures brought international traffic to a near standstill at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, airlines are scrambling for planes to expand capacity to meet surging demand for international air travel.


Write to Mauro Orru at; @MauroOrru94


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 06, 2023 09:27 ET (13:27 GMT)

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