The first Airbus plane built outside Europe made a successful four-hour maiden flight on Monday in China, Reuters reported. Airbus has been assembling A320 jets in Tianjin since September using fuselage parts shipped from Europe. “This A320 assembled in China unquestionably demonstrated the same quality and performance as those assembled and delivered in Hamburg or Toulouse,” Fernando Alonso, senior vice president at Airbus, said in a statement. Airbus aims to reach an output of four A320s a month in China by the end of 2011. Airbus said China will need more than 3,000 large aircraft between 2006 and 2025, including 180 super jumbo passenger planes. The first Chinese-assembled A320 will be delivered to Dragon Aviation Leasing in June and be operated by China’s Sichuan Airlines. According to Airbus, Chinese airlines have already placed orders for 700 Airbus planes, most of which are A320s.
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