Posted on: 24 September 2015 by Ross McSweeny
During a visit from Chinese president Xi Jinping to Boeing’s widebody factory in Everett, WA, the OEM announced several new agreements with China including the opening of a 737 completion and delivery centre as part of a joint venture with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).
The centre will provide the interiors completion, paint and delivery of Boeing 737 aircraft to Chinese customers without reducing 737 programme employment in Washington State. Boeing predicts this move will eventually pave the way for future production rate increases at Boeing's 737 final assembly factory in Renton, WA. The OEM currently builds 42 737s per month, which will increase to 47 by 2017 and 52 by 2018.
“Boeing is expanding our longstanding 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,” stated Ray Conner, CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “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.”
COMAC’s vice-president, Wu Guanghui, remarked, “The new collaboration between Boeing and COMAC will help advance the Chinese commercial transportation market in a better and faster way, and will benefit the development of supporting Chinese industries related to aircraft completion as well as the global growth of China's civil aviation business.”
Boeing, COMAC and Chinese government officials are working toward a final business agreement and will announce the facility's location and timing of first deliveries at a later date.
Other announcements made by Boeing include orders and commitments for 300 Boeing narrowbody and widebody aircraft, worth approximately $38 billion at list prices. The order consists of 240 aircraft for Chinese airlines, including 190 737s and 50 widebody aircraft as well as 60 737s for leasing companies ICBC and CDB Leasing.
Additionally, Boeing and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) will broaden their long-term collaboration to further advance AVIC's manufacturing capabilities by adding major component and assembly work packages; strengthening leadership; and developing AVIC's broad aviation infrastructure and business practices, including supply chain management.
“Boeing's commitment to increase AVIC's statement of work will help enhance our manufacturing capabilities, capacity and efficiency, which will contribute to improving the competitiveness of Boeing aeroplanes,” commented Geng Ruguang, executive vice-president, AVIC. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership even more as we work together to address the win-win opportunities presented in a rapidly growing market for commercial aeroplanes.”