China to buy 300 aircraft in major Boeing pact

Boeing will launch a 737 delivery centre in China
Boeing will launch a 737 delivery centre in China

China has agreed to purchase 300 new aircraft from Boeing, as part of a wide-ranging series of deals with the US planemaker.

Following the visit of China’s President Xi Jinping to the Boeing factory near Seattle this week, state-owned China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CASC) has ordered 250 single-aisle Boeing 737s and 50 twin-aisle aircraft, worth approximately US$38 billion at current list prices.

In addition, Boeing has agreed to set up a final assembly line for its B737 aircraft in China.

Operated in partnership with China’s domestic planemaker, COMAC, the joint venture facility will focus on supplying China’s fast-growing airlines with new single-aisle aircraft. Details about the factory’s location and launch schedule will be announced at a later date, but the facility will allow Boeing to better compete with Airbus, which already operates an A320 delivery centre in Tianjin.

“Boeing is expanding our long-standing relationship with Chinese industry to meet vital goals for our company. We are bringing the Boeing 737 closer to our Chinese customers, supporting rising 737 production rates and enhancing our access to China’s dynamic and fast-growing aviation market,” said Ray Conner, president & CEO of Boeing’s commercial aircraft division.

“The 737 will be a cornerstone of the Chinese fleet for years to come, and we look forward to delivering 737s to Chinese customers in China.”

Other agreements resulting from President Xi’s visit to Seattle include continued collaboration between Boeing and another Chinese planemaker, AVIC, and a new deal to develop aviation biofuel from agricultural waste.

“Biofuel collaboration between Boeing and Chinese partners is a prime example of how we are determined to make progress on environmental challenges that no company or country can solve alone,” said Ian Thomas, president of Boeing China. “Together, we’re finding innovative ways to support China’s aviation industry and help build a sustainable future.”

Boeing predicts that China will become its largest market in the next 20 years, with a projected demand for 6,330 new aircraft worth an estimated US$950bn.

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