Airbus, the European aerospace giant, has announced its plans to double the production capacity of its best-selling single-aisle jet in China, as it seeks to capitalize on the growing demand for air travel and lucrative aircraft orders in one of the world’s largest aviation markets .
The production capacity for the single-aisle A320 series is currently at 45 per month, and Airbus plans to increase this number to 65 by 2022 . The expansion will not be limited to the assembly line, signaling the company’s commitment to further investments in China .
This move comes as Airbus has been awarded new orders in China for its A320neo Family, which incorporates new generation engines and Sharklets that deliver at least 20 percent fuel and CO2 savings, as well as a 50 percent noise reduction . As of May 2022, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators totaled over 2,070 aircraft .
The company’s success in the Chinese market is further exemplified by the recent announcement of four Chinese airlines purchasing a total of 292 planes from Airbus for a sum of $37 billion . This windfall demonstrates the aviation industry’s recovery after the coronavirus pandemic and highlights the strong position Airbus has established over its US rival, Boeing .
Airbus has a long-standing partnership with China and its aviation industry, and the company’s presence in the country has been steadily growing . By the end of 2018, there were more than 1,700 Airbus commercial jetliners in service in China, and deliveries to the country represented nearly a quarter of Airbus’ total jetliner production .
Airbus forecasts an annual passenger traffic growth of 3.6% over the next 20 years, projecting a demand for 39,490 new passenger and freighter aircraft during this period, with 31,620 typically single-aisle and 7,870 typically wide-body planes . With the ongoing expansion of production capacity in China, Airbus is positioning itself to meet the rising global demand for air travel and capture an even larger share of the aviation market.