The first Airbus plane built outside Europe (although many of the parts were imported) made a successful four-hour maiden flight on Monday in China.
Airbus began assembling some A320 jets in Tianjin near Beijing in September from fuselage parts shipped from Europe so it is wrong to say made-in-China as the press would have it.
Assembled in China is the correct phrase.
Fernando Alonso, senior vice president at Airbus, said in a statement, ‘This A320 assembled in China unquestionably demonstrated the same quality and performance as those assembled and delivered in Hamburg or Toulouse’.
Airbus aims to reach output of four A320s a month in China by the end of 2011.
Airbus has estimated that China will need more than 3,000 large aircraft between 2006 and 2025, including 180 super jumbo passenger planes.