Airbus to establish a new aircraft storage and dismantling center in China

Airbus is establishing an aircraft servicing center in China
Santi Rodriguez /

Airbus announced that together with Tarmac Aerosave and the city of Chengdu, the company will open a wide-range aircraft service center in Chengdu, China. 

The facility will be able to store up to 125 aircraft at one time, neighboring a complete ecosystem of aviation industry companies in an adjacent aviation industry park in the Shuangliu District in Chengdu, China. According to the European Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), the facility will go online “around the turn of this year”. 

The service center, which Airbus described as a key milestone in its cooperation with China, will strengthen the local aviation industry in aftermarket services. 

“With this aircraft lifecycle centre, Airbus’ footprint in China is expanded to cover the entire industrial chain, from parts manufacturing, aircraft assembly and delivery, fleet operation and to end-of-life services, such as dismantling and high-value parts re-cycling,” noted the manufacturer’s press release. 

“This new centre in Chengdu fits perfectly into Airbus’ approach to environmental responsibility across the entire aircraft lifecycle. Aircraft storage, upgrades, and dismantling will all take place under one roof,” added Cristina Aguilar, the Senior Vice President of Airbus Customer Services. Aguilar added that the OEM was happy to work with Tarmac Aerosave and the city’s authorities to “develop the first lifecycle services centre of this kind in China and its range of services”. 

Once the center goes online, Airbus subsidiary Satair will begin acquiring aging aircraft, and later on, “trade and distribute the used parts to complete the full scope of lifecycle services”. Per the OEM, “75 percent of the aircraft stored in the centre will be transitioned into a second lifecycle,” while the rest will be dismantled using Tarmac Aerosave’s “unique” process, “recovering around 90 percent of the aircraft weight, far exceeding industry standards”. 

In early April 2023, Airbus announced that it would open another Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Tianjin, China, where it has had a presence since 2008. It was the manufacturer’s first FAL outside of Europe, with the Tianjin site expanding and assembling the whole A321neo family, as well as hosting the wide-body completion and delivery center (C&DC) for the A330 since 2017. The Tianjin C&DC began completing A350s later, delivering its first aircraft of the type in June 2021. 

Tarmac Aerosave is the operator of three storage and recycling facilities in Europe, namely in Tarbes–Lourdes–Pyrénées Airport (LDE), France, Teruel Airport (TEV), Spain, and Toulouse Francazal Airport (QYF), France. 

Notably, the company was the first to dismantle an Airbus A380, turning the first commercial A380, an ex-Singapore Airlines aircraft, last registered as 9V-SKA and with the Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 003, into dust in November 2019. 

During the pandemic, the company’s three sites welcomed many airlines’ aircraft, including the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747s, with some of them leaving storage and rejoining commercial operations for the upcoming summer season. 

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