Coronavirus forces Airbus to close Tianjin, China FAL

As the global spread of coronavirus is affecting international travel, including cargo, global businesses, including aviation companies, are feeling the adversities of travel restrictions. Airbus announced that it is temporarily closing its final assembly line (FAL) in Tianjin, China.

“The Company is regularly updating staff on the situation and on necessary precautions to take,” indicates the manufacturer’s press release. While the Chinese Government has given out the requirement for staff to work from home to avoid travel and Airbus has provided its employees the necessary IT equipment to do so, travel restrictions are “posing some logistical challenges” for the assembly line itself.

Tianjin hosts one of the few FAL’s outside of Europe, where most of the assembly and manufacturing sites are located. The other international A320 FAL is in Mobile, Alabama (United States).

In addition, Tianjin is also home to a Completion and Delivery Centre (C&DC) of the A330 wide-body jet.  On November 6, 2019, Airbus announced that the capabilities of the facility would be improved to also be capable of accepting deliveries of the Airbus A350, the manufacturer’s flagship twin-aisle aircraft.

It planned to deliver the first A350 from the new C&DC in 2021. Whether the temporary pause on production would have any long-lasting effects, is “too early to say,” according to an Airbus spokesperson.

Boeing also has a 737 Completion and Delivery Center in Zhoushan, China. The Chicago-based manufacturer has not yet indicated any disruption to its facilities in Zhoushan. AeroTime approached Boeing for comment.

 

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