Boeing rival Airbus ramps up production in mushrooming Chinese market

China is expected to need more than 7,500 new aircraft over the next 20 years, Airbus said.

European planemaker Airbus, which maintains a global duopoly with embattled U.S rival Boeing, plans to boost production in China as the country grows into the world's largest aircraft market.

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Demand in the nation, already the second-largest economy on the planet, is expected to reach more than 7,500 aircraft over the next 20 years, the company said.

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"We attach great importance to our long-term strategic partnership with China and its aviation industry," Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said in a statement. "We are committed to working with our Chinese partners."

To reach a worldwide production rate of 63 a month for its single-aisle A320 jets, which compete with Boeing's grounded 737 MAX, Airbus will boost output at its final assembly line in Tianjin by 50 percent to six a month by the end of this year, the company said.

Production capabilities for the A350 extra widebody will be extended into a Tianjin plant by the end of 2020. That facility, known as the Completion & Delivery Centre, is Airbus' first twin-aisle production site outside of Europe and opened in September 2017.

Faury and Hi Lifeng, chair of China's National Development and Reform Commission, signed a memo reinforcing their partnership in Beijing. It was witnessed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury shakes hands with Chinese State Development and Reform Commission vice president He Lifeng on Nov. 6, 2019. (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Macron was in Beijing for a series of deals worth about $15 billion with Chinese leaders, according to the South China Morning Post. The deals included approval for 20 French companies to export poultry, beef and pork to China.

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China and Airbus' renewed commitment represents another blow to Boeing, especially after Indian airline IndiGo ordered 300 Airbus jets worth roughly $33 billion in October, according to Reuters. Boeing's 737 MAX, the best-selling aircraft in the company's history, has been grounded since March after two crashes in less than six months that killed 346 people.

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