Airbus plans to ramp up A320 family production rates at its Final Assembly Line Asia (FALA) in Tianjin, China beginning in 2019, according to a framework agreement signed by Airbus and its Chinese partners Jan. 9.

The agreement targets a ramp-up in production to five aircraft per month by early 2019 and six per month by early 2020.

FALA opened in 2008; as of the end of 2017, 354 A320 family aircraft have rolled off the Tianjin line for delivery to Airbus customers in China and the Asia-Pacific region.

In October 2017, FALA completed assembly of its first A320neo, which was subsequently delivered to AirAsia. FALA is one of three Airbus single-aisle assembly lines worldwide, in addition to facilities in Toulouse and Hamburg.

Also on Jan. 9, Airbus COO and president Commercial Aircraft Fabrice Brégier and China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) chairman He Lifeng signed an MOU to further develop industrial cooperation in Tianjin, aiming to strengthen cooperation on technical innovation, engineering capabilities and supply chain extension.

Effective Jan. 8, George Xu—former FALA board chairman from 2011 to 2014—was appointed Airbus China CEO, succeeding Eric Chen. Xu will be responsible for all Airbus commercial aircraft, defense and space business in China, Airbus said.

Mark Nensel mark.nensel@informa.com