European plane maker’s move comes as U.S. rival grapples with trade tensions, MAX grounding
Airbus SE EADSY 0.60% plans to boost jetliner production in China, bolstering its position in what is set to be the world’s biggest aviation market and piling further pressure on Boeing Co. as the U.S. company contends with trade tensions and the grounding of its 737 MAX plane.
The France-based plane maker is gaining market share while Boeing grapples with the global grounding of the MAX after two fatal crashes and a dearth of orders for larger aircraft. The U.S. aerospace giant’s efforts in China are also being hindered by the continuing trade dispute between the two countries.
Airbus said Wednesday that it would expand its A330 wide-body completion center in Tianjin to be able to handle its bigger A350 model. The company is also lifting local production of its A320neo, its 737 MAX competitor.
The agreement with the Chinese government was outlined during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Beijing.
The move comes weeks after Boeing was forced to cut back production rates for its 787 Dreamliner, citing U.S. trade tensions with China and a lack of demand from Chinese carriers. Boeing’s last China order was in November 2017.
Airbus has meanwhile been leveraging the fallout by boosting its production in China and winning orders for its own models. Its last order from China was as recent as March.
Excerpt from WSJ