Airbus Kicks Off Construction on New China Plant

Factory will build components for competitor to Boeings Dreamliner.

European aviation giant Airbus said Wednesday it had started building a new plant in China that would make major components for its A350 XWB -- an aircraft designed to compete with Boeing's Dreamliner. The plant in the northern city of Harbin is part of a program to realize an Airbus commitment of allocating 5% of the A350 XWB airframe to the Chinese aviation industry, the company said in a statement. The factory, scheduled to start operation by the end of 2010, will also manufacture composite parts for A320 planes, the statement said. Airbus will hold 20% of the plant, while its Chinese partner Harbin Aircraft Industry Group (HAIG) will take 50%. The remaining stakes will be held by three other Chinese firms, the statement said. HAIG said in a statement in April that the registered capital of the joint venture was $150 million. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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