Boeing has celebrated a new landmark in China with the delivery of its 1,000th aircraft to the country.
The 1,000th aircraft, a single-aisle Boeing 737-800, was delivered to China Eastern Airlines and features a special peacock livery and Boeing’s ‘Sky Interior’, with LED lighting and larger overhead storage bins. It will be operated by China Eastern Yunnan Airlines – China Eastern’s Kunming-based regional subsidiary.
“We take great pride in the partnership that Boeing and China have shared for more than 40 years. Boeing greatly values China as both a customer and a supplier partner,” said Ray Conner, president & CEO of Boeing’s commercial division. “This delivery symbolises the tremendous accomplishments we have achieved together along with the significant trust and confidence that Chinese airlines have placed in Boeing’s products and services. Boeing is committed to advancing our partnership with China for decades to come.”
China is one of the world’s most important battlegrounds of the world’s commercial aircraft manufacturers. Airbus has already opened a production facility in Tianjin for its A320 aircraft – the rival of the B737 – while Canada’s Bombardier is working together with China’s domestic planemaker COMAC, to develop new jets that are intended to rival Airbus and Boeing’s short-haul models. And the rewards are huge; Boeing forecasts that China will need 5,260 new aircraft over the next 20 years, valued at US$670 billion.
Shanghai-based China Eastern has outstanding orders for approximately 40 more B737s along with 100 A320s and 20 COMAC C919s. Meanwhile Guangzhou’s China Southern is waiting to receive around 30 more B737s, 40 A320s and 20 C919s, while Beijing-based Air China has outstanding orders for more than 130 B737s, 30 A320s and 20 C919s.