Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visited Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France today, consolidating the traditional relations between the country and the aircraft manufacturer.
Premier Zhu and Airbus President and CEO Noel Forgeard witnessed the signing of an agreement between General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) and Airbus on flight safety cooperation.
Under the agreement, CAAC and Airbus plan to strengthen cooperation in flight operations and training, maintenance practices and organisations, management training, E-solutions, and information and communication, while establishing stronger ties with aviation institutes and universities of higher education.
During his visit, Premier Zhu toured Airbus’ final assembly lines and the A340-600 and A380 mock-up centre. The A340-600, the world’s longest airliner, is designed to bring new levels of comfort and refinement to long range travel. The A380 Superjumbo, will be the world’s largest passenger aircraft with 555-seats, setting the standards for flight in the 21st century.
“Airbus is privileged and honoured by the presence of Zhu Rongji, Premier of the People’s Republic of China,” said Mr. Forgeard. “The partnership between Airbus and China, and Premier Zhu’s presence on our premises, have been a source of pride and confidence for us all.”
The Premier also held talks with Mr. Forgeard on flight safety cooperation, industrial cooperation and trade between China and Airbus.
Premier is the third top Chinese leader to visit Airbus over the past six years, following President Jiang Zemin’s visit in September 1994 and then Premier Li Peng’s visit in April 1996.
Premier Zhu and his delegation were welcomed by Mr. Forgeard and eminent local officials, as well as Chinese residents in France.
Airbus’s business in China has been steadily expanding since it first entered the country in 1985. The Airbus fleet in service in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao has grown to 182 today from 29 in 1995. The CASC/AIRBUS Customer Services Training and Support Centre, which represents a US$80 million investment by Airbus, is fully operational in Beijing. Four Chinese manufacturers are already involved in manufacturing of Airbus parts, such as wing components, passenger doors and maintenance tools.
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.