The first A320 assembled outside Airbus’s facilities in Europe has completed a sucessful maiden flight.

The aircraft, made at the Airbus final assembly line in China recorded quality and performance on a par with its Hamburg or Toulouse-assembled counterparts according to FALC airbus flight and tests senior vice president Fernando Alonso.

The aircraft will be delivered to Dragon Aviation Leasing in June to be operated by Sichuan Airlines.

Chinese clients have ordered over 700 aircraft from the A320 family.

Alonso said it reflects the development of a long-term strategic partnership with the Chinese aviation industry. 11 such aircraft will be delivered in 2009 from Airbus’s delivery centre at Tianjin.

FALC, a joint venture between Airbus (51%) and a Chinese consortium (49%), will increase its production rate to four aircraft a month by 2011.

The Chinese consortium comprises Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) and China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC).