Airbus says Chinese firm to make some A350 parts

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Airbus said Wednesday it had awarded the manufacture of some wing parts for its A350 XWB -- an aircraft designed to compete with Boeing's Dreamliner -- to a Chinese aviation company.

With the move, the European aviation giant made good on a 2007 pledge to manufacture five percent of the A350's airframe in China.

"This is... an important step forward for Airbus to develop a truly global industrial and engineering footprint, which helps Airbus to create a competitive cost base," Klaus Richter, vice president of procurement, said in a statement.

Airbus said the Chinese firm, CAC Commercial Aircraft Company (CCAC), would manufacture the A350's spoilers and droop panels. Both are movable control surfaces on the wing.

It added that one of its joint ventures in China, Airbus Beijing Engineering Centre, would be involved in the design of the parts.

In July last year, the European giant announced it had started building a new plant in northeast China that would make major components for its A350 XWB, as well as composite parts for its smaller A320 planes.

According to French media reports, Airbus is currently negotiating the sale of 150 planes to China for 16 billion dollars, and the order could be announced when Chinese President Hu Jintao visits France in November.

© 2010 AFP

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