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September 5, 2009

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Chinese-assembled A320 rolls out

CHINA Eastern Airlines has received its first Chinese-assembled Airbus jet from Airbus' Tianjin assembly facility - its first outside Europe.

"The A320 jet is one of the most profitable jets for China Eastern, and we plan to introduce more than 40 A320 jets in the following years," said Zhang Jianzhong, vice general manager of Shanghai-based China Eastern, at the delivery ceremony on Thursday.

The country's third-largest carrier by fleet size was the first to introduce Airbus aircraft among domestic carriers, and it now operates 147 Airbus jets of all variants, more than any other airline in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Tianjin factory will assemble 11 jets this year, including seven A320s and four A319s, and will produce four airplanes monthly in 2011.

Besides China Eastern, the factory has already delivered three jets to Sichuan Airlines, Deer Air and Shenzhen Airlines.

The Tianjin assembly facility, a joint venture between Airbus and Tianjin Zhongtian Aviation Industry Investment Co, began operations in September last year with an estimated investment of 8 billion yuan (US$1.17 billion) to 10 billion yuan.


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