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China to become key market for aviation industry: Airbus chief


10:03, October 16, 2011

TOULOUSE, France, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- China will take center stage in the development of the global aviation industry, Airbus President and CEO Thomas Enders said here Friday.

The global aviation industry would expand at an annual rate of over 5 percent in the next 20 years, Enders said at a ceremony at the Airbus Delivery Center in Toulouse marking the company's delivery of the first A380 aircraft to China Southern Airlines.

The Asian market, especially the Chinese market, might grow even faster, Enders said, adding that Airbus remains optimistic about the prospects of the industry.

The European aircraft manufacturer plans to deliver more than 110 passenger planes to China this year, accounting for one-fifth of the company's total deliveries worldwide.

Enders said the A380 was designed to suit the needs of the East Asian and Middle Eastern markets, especially the fast-growing Chinese market.

With a typical capacity for 525 passengers in a three-class layout, the super jumbo's spacious cabin could play a big role in handling the large amount of air passengers in those countries.

Airbus attaches great importance to the Chinese market, as can be seen from its having built a major final assembly line in the northern Chinese costal city of Tianjin, Enders said.

The Tianjin plant, which opened in 2008, is a joint venture between Airbus and a Chinese consortium, and is now producing around 10 percent of Airbus' A320 aircraft.

The A380 aircraft handed over Friday is the first out of five to be delivered by Airbus to China Southern Airlines, making the Chinese airlines the first operator of A380 in China and the seventh globally.


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