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Airbus and Japan Expand Partnership

The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced today the participation of three leading Japanese airframe manufacturers in the A380 aircraft programme now under development. In addition to the four Japanese suppliers which were already announced in early April, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), and Japan Aircraft Manufacturing (Nippi) will also participate in the next-generation super jumbo programme.

Airbus President and CEO Noel Forgeard said: “As already anticipated during our visit to Tokyo in mid April, we are now very pleased to confirm that these highly skilled and renowned companies are joining the technologically most advanced airliner programme currently under development and launched in production. The contribution of Mitsubishi, Fuji and Nippi to the A380 programme is highly appreciated, and we sincerely expect the A380 programme to greatly promote the industrial collaboration between Europe and Japan. ”

The new Japanese suppliers that are joining the A380 airframe production, with an estimated revenue of over US $850m in the years to come, are as follows:

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) will take over the supply of the front and aft lower cargo doors. Production will be completed at MHI’s factory of Oye, in Nagoya (Aichi Prefecture) to be delivered in September 2003. MHI already successfully participates in other Airbus programmes with production of A330/A340 aft cargo doors and A320 shroud box.

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI) will be supplying the vertical tailplane (VTP) leading and trailing edges, as well as VTP tip and fairings. Production will take place at FHI’s plant in Utsunomiya (Tochigi Prefecture) and delivery of first parts is scheduled for May 2003. This is the first collaboration contract of FHI with Airbus.


Japan Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Nippi) will be supplying the horizontal tailplane (HTP) tips. Production will be at Nippi’s Yokohama plant (Kanagawa Prefecture) and the first article is expected in October 2003. This is the first collaboration of Nippi in any Airbus programme.

To date, nine customers have announced firm orders for a total of 97 A380s. The 555-seater A380 will enter into service in early 2006.

A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.