Yesterday June 23, Airbus delivered the first A320 assembled at its Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin. At a grand ceremony, the aircraft was handed over by Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders, to the Chairman of Dragon Aviation Leasing, Li Hai. The aircraft (Airbus A320-232 - Reg: B-501L - MSN 3591) will be leased to and operated by Sichuan Airlines.
Tianjin Party Secretary Zhang Gaoli, Mayor of Tianjin, Huang Xingguo, as well as German State Secretary (Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology) Hartmut Schauerte and the President of Sichuan Airlines, Lan Xinguo were present at the ceremony attended by more than 1000 guests.
The Export-Import Bank of China, a strategic long term partner to Dragon Aviation Leasing, has been supporting the financing for the purchase of the aircraft. The A320 to be operated by Sichuan Airlines will be in a two-class configuration, with eight first class seats and 156 economy seats. The aircraft will be deployed on domestic trunk routes between the airline’s base of Chengdu to such major cities like Beijing and Shanghai. It will enter into service on 24th June on the route from Chengdu to Beijing. The aircraft will join the existing fleet composed of 40 Airbus single-aisle aircraft.
Sichuan Airlines was established in 1986 and it started commercial flight operation in 1988. The Sichuan Airlines Co Ltd so far operates 40 Airbus A320 Family aircraft. It is the largest airline in China with all-Airbus fleet (above 100 seats).