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24. September 2018 11:02 Alter: 4 yrs

China and Europe move closer on aviation

THE fast-growing market demand for civil aircraft and the rapid development of the aviation industry offer unprecedented opportunities for cooperation between China and Europe, which has seen remarkable progress in recent years.

At the Farnborough International Airshow southwest of London, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) announced the establishment of AVIC Cabin Systems Co Ltd (ACS).

The operational headquarters of ACS, with its products covering most segments of the cabin interiors industry with high-profile customers such as Boeing and Airbus, is based in London.

“The fact that the company’s operational headquarters is based in London demonstrates AVIC’s confidence about the business environment in the UK and Europe and it is another important step of AVIC’s globalization,” said Chairman of AVIC Tan Ruisong at the launching ceremony.

Statistics show that the global market for cabin interiors in 2017 was valued at US$12.6 billion and is anticipated to grow to US$14.4 billion in 2020 and US$18.4 billion in 2025 with an annual growth rate of nearly 5 percent.

Gary Montgomery, CEO of Thompson Aero Seating, a major ACS supplier of first class and business class seats based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, said the establishment of ACS will help create synergy across the cabin companies and provide better products and services to global customers, adding that he is optimistic about the prospects for ACS.

Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming, who also attended the ceremony, said it is exciting to witness “China-UK cooperation on aviation moving up to a new level.”

The event has a significant impact on the aviation sector in both China and the UK and world aviation development, he said.

As early as 1997, the Aviation Working Group was set up under the China-UK Joint Economic and Trade Commission in a move to enhance cooperation on aviation technology and engineering.

In 2017, a major outcome was reached at the 9th China-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue to expand air traffic rights. Under this arrangement, the number of direct flights between the two countries was to increase by 50 percent to 150 per week. Recently, Chinese airlines opened five new direct flights between China and Britain.

“It is amid such an exciting development that AVIC Cabin Systems is born. This meets the need of upgrading China-UK ‘air corridor’. It is a vivid example of the thriving cooperation between our two countries on aviation,” said the Chinese ambassador.

The Chinese aviation industry, although a late starter, has grown rapidly to become an important pillar of China’s economic restructuring. China is considered the world’s most promising aviation market. By 2020, China will have over 500 general aviation airports and more than 5,000 general aviation aircraft.

Last month, China issued a Special Management Measures (Negative List) for the Access of Foreign Investment (2018) to further increase access to the manufacturing sector. Foreign-ownership limits for manufacturers of certain aircraft, including trunk route aircraft, regional aircraft, general-use aircraft, helicopters, drones and aerostats, were removed.

“These measures will help accelerate the integration of China’s aviation industry in the global supply chain. They will also create growth opportunities for global partners, including those in the UK,” said the ambassador.

The week-long Farnborough International Airshow kicked off on Monday with exhibitors from nearly 100 countries. The presence of more than 20 Chinese aviation companies is the largest in the show’s history, with a 70 percent growth in participation since the last show in 2016.

Xu Gang, CEO of Airbus China, said the long-standing cooperation between Airbus and China is an typical example of China-Europe cooperation in the high-tech field.

Airbus has committed to raising A320 production capacity at its final assembly line in Tianjin in north China, from four to six per month by 2020. It has delivered more than 370 aircraft since the FAL started operation in 2008 as the first Airbus single aisle Final Assembly Line outside Europe.

The increase in production also requires strengthened capacity from the Chinese partners, said Xu. The Airbus A320 FAL in Tianjin is a joint venture involving Airbus, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China and the Tianjin Free Trade zone.

Meanwhile, Airbus has announced that its second global innovation center will be established in Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, to accelerate innovation and shape the future of flight.

“China enjoys huge capability and potential in the aviation industry, and I have full confidence in the future of Chinese aviation market,” Xu said.

Quelle: China Daily