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By Ben Otto
Airbus SE and Beijing agreed to strengthen cooperation in producing commercial jets, including by ramping up assembly of the French company's planes in China, Airbus said Wednesday.
The plane maker said the two sides had signed a memorandum of understanding about initiatives regarding single-aisle and wide-body aircraft.
Airbus said its plant for the assembly of A320 jets in Tianjin is on track to increase production capacity to six planes a month by the end of the year, part of the company's goal to produce 63 of the jets a month globally by 2021. Airbus has delivered 450 A320 jets to customers based in Asia from the Tianjin facility since 2008, it said.
The company also said it would add facilities to be able to complete and deliver wide-body A350 jets in Tianjin in the second half of 2020, with a first delivery slated for 2021.
The memorandum was signed by Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury and He Lifeng, chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron, Airbus said.
"We attach great importance to our long-term strategic partnership with China and its aviation industry," Mr. Faury said. "We are committed to working with our Chinese partners to shape the future of the industry."
Last month, Airbus cut its delivery goal for the year as it struggles to build the planes it has promised to airline customers, but it remains poised to overtake Boeing Co. as the world's biggest plane maker in 2019. Airbus expects to deliver 860 commercial aircraft this year, a company record.
Airbus and Boeing have for years been ramping up production as they seek to meet demand for more fuel-efficient, narrow-body jets. Boeing has been hit hard by the grounding of its best-selling narrow-body plane, the 737 MAX, in March, after two fatal crashes.
Write to Ben Otto at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 06, 2019 06:00 ET (11:00 GMT)
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