Airbus has appointed George Xu as chief executive of its China unit, as Airbus Commercial Aircraft China president Eric Chen takes over as chairman of Airbus China.
The news follows our report from yesterday that cooperation between China and European aircraft manufacturer Airbus continues to strengthen.
French President Emmanuel Macron said China would order 184 Airbus A320 planes as he wrapped up his visit to Beijing during which he called for "balance" in trade relations between the two countries. "We have a dynamic team here, and with the fresh blood like George joining our management team, I look forward to an even more promising future of Airbus China".
China regularly splits large orders between Europe and the United States to cope with its fast-expanding airline traffic, but the momentum has recently been with rival Boeing, which sold 300 jets during a visit by US President Donald Trump previous year.
However, there was speculation from some quarters that China failed to match the deals announced during Donald Trump's state visit due to annoyance about Airbus' proposed takeover of the CSeries programme, which China purportedly had its eye on. China is set to become the world's largest market for aviation by 2022 - but capacity is expected to become constrained due to busy airspace and crew shortages.
Xu was chairman of the board of the A320 Family Final Assembly Line and, in parallel, vice president of the Tianjin Free Trade Zone Administrative Committee in 2011 until 2014.
Xu began working on the Airbus A320 Final Assembly Line program in China in 2005. "I am confident China will continue to play a key role in Airbus' global strategy".