Airbus is offering an industrial partnership with China on the A380 if Chinese airlines place orders for the world’s largest passenger jet, whose future is in doubt unless it wins new customers.
Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’s outgoing chief operating officer, will hold early stage discussions on the subject when he heads to China on Monday as part of a trade mission accompanying French president Emmanuel Macron on his first state visit to the country.
Airbus is also proposing to increase production at its Tianjin final assembly line, where it produces four A320 single-aisle aircraft a month. It could increase the rate to five a month, according to people close to the discussions, which would be factored into the planned global increase from just over 50 currently to 60 a month by next year.
The talks come as the European aircraft manufacturer hopes to clinch a deal to sell some 100 aircraft to state-owned China Aircraft Leasing Group during the visit, according to reports. The order is likely to be a mix of single and twin aisle planes, with China not expected to order A380s at this stage. The rate increase could also be announced then. (end of excerpt)
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