Airbus today delivered the first A320 aircraft assembled at its Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin. At a grand ceremony, the aircraft was handed over by Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders, to the Chairman of Dragon Aviation Leasing, Li Hai. The aircraft will be leased to and operated by Sichuan Airlines.
The FALC is a joint venture between Airbus and a Chinese consortium comprising Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) and China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC). Eleven A319 and A320 aircraft are scheduled for delivery in Tianjin in 2009. Airbus is planning a production rate ramp up to four aircraft per month by the end of 2011.
Sichuan Airlines, established in 1986 and commenced commercial flights in 1988, was the first Chinese carrier to introduce the A320 aircraft in China back in 1995. and it started commercial flight operation in 1988. The new A320 will join the existing fleet of 40 Airbus A320 Family aircraft.
The A320 delivered today is a two-class configuration, with eight first class seats and 156 economy seats. The aircraft will be deployed on domestic trunk routes between the airline’s base of Chengdu to such major cities like Beijing and Shanghai. It will enter into service on June 24 on the route from Chengdu to Beijing.