The Airbus site in Tianjin, China, has been back in operation for several months. The 500th aircraft to come off the assembly line is an A320neo for China Southern Airlines.
Airbus Tianjin resumed work last February
While domestic traffic in China seems to have returned to pre-crisis volumes, within 4% of the pre-crisis levels created by the pandemic, Airbus' Tianjin site in China has just delivered its 500th Airbus A320 family aircraft off the assembly line. The A320neo was delivered to China Southern Airlines. The site has gradually resumed operations since last February. The 400th aircraft was delivered in December 2018. Also an A320neo, but to Air China. The aircraft accepted by China Southern Airlines is subject to a lease contract, since as of September 30, the airline had received all of its A320neo firm orders, i.e. 11 A320neo and 13 A321neo, for a total fleet of 67 A320/A321neo aircraft.
Chinese airlines have continued to take their Airbuses
At the end of December 2019, China Southern Airlines had a fleet of 59 A320/A321neo aircraft, including 18 on firm orders. As a result, Chinese airlines have continued to take delivery of their aircraft since last March. These include Air China (four more A320neo by the end of September 2019), China Eastern Airlines (five), Loong Air (six), Qingdao Airlines (two), Shenzhen Airlines (four) and Spring Airlines (two and one A321neo). However, this is not the case for everyone. Some fleets have also remained unchanged or even decreased slightly. The crisis has nevertheless shaken up the initial program, which was to move to a rate of six medium-haul flights per month in 2020.
What about the A350?
The crisis is also likely to disrupt the schedule originally planned for the A350 long-haul aircraft. It is indeed from the second half of 2020 that the Tianjin passenger cabin fitting, painting and delivery centre (CDC) was to receive the A350s alongside the A330neo.