Airbus has successfully completed a four-hour maiden flight of its first Chinese-assembled A320 aircraft, from Tianjin international airport in China.
The aircraft, which is the first A320 to be assembled outside Europe in the Airbus Final Assembly Line China (FALC), signals a growing commitment to the Chinese market.
In a statement, Fernando Alonso, senior vice-president of Flight and Integration Tests at Airbus, said: ‘The flight was a complete success thanks to excellent teamwork.
‘This A320, assembled in China, unquestionably demonstrated the same quality and performance as those assembled and delivered in Hamburg or Toulouse.’
Laurence Barron, president of Airbus China, added: ‘Our commitment is to provide the very best aircraft and services to our customers and operators in China, while applying the same rules, procedures and quality standards as for any Airbus aircraft produced in Europe.
‘It highlights our commitment to the development of a long-term strategic partnership with the Chinese aviation industry.’
According to Airbus, Chinese customers have ordered over 700 aircraft from Airbus, most of which are from the A320 family.
A further 11 will be manufactured in Tianjin by the end of this year, with production rates to be ramped up to four aircraft per month by 2011.