Boeing today delivered its 2,000th airplane to a Chinese operator, a 737 MAX for Xiamen Airlines. The milestone and the pace at which it was reached reflect the accelerating growth in the world’s largest commercial aviation market.
Boeing delivered its first 1,000 airplanes to Chinese airlines over four decades. The next 1,000 Boeing jets have now been delivered over the past five years. The rapid pace continues as one in four Boeing-made commercial jet goes to a Chinese operator, either through direct purchase or lease.
The new 737 MAX delivered today sports a special logo commemorating the milestone. It is the eighth MAX airplane to join fast-growing Xiamen Airlines, which operates the largest all-Boeing fleet in China with more than 200 jets. The carrier also uses Boeing Global Services to improve the efficiency of its network and operations. Xiamen is the first Chinese airline to use Optimized Maintenance Program, which leverages Boeing AnalytX to recommend customized airplane maintenance plans.
“We’re pleased to be a part of this historic delivery for Boeing and China,” said Che Shanglun, chairman of Xiamen Airlines. “In our 34-year history of operations, Xiamen Airlines has steadily grown, doubling our fleet size over the past five years and achieving profits for 31 years in a row. Throughout that time, Boeing has been a valued partner in our growth and expansion by providing safe and reliable airplanes.”
Xiamen Airlines is one of Boeing’s more than 30 commercial customers in China. In all, Boeing-made jets comprise more than half of the greater than 3,000 jetliners flying in the country.
China’s commercial fleet is expected to more than double over the next 20 years. Boeing forecasts that China will need 7,690 new airplanes, valued at $1.2 trillion, by 2038. Boeing also forecasts China will experience strong growth in the commercial services market with demand growing $1.5 trillion over the next 20 years, accounting for 17 percent of world demand.
China also plays a major role in building the world’s jetliners. The Chinese aerospace manufacturing industry supplies parts for every Boeing jet, including the 737 MAX, 777, and 787 Dreamliner. In December, Boeing and the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) are set to deliver the first 737 MAX airplane from a completion and delivery center in Zhoushan, China. The facility will handle interior work and exterior painting of 737 MAXs for the Chinese market. Final assembly work will continue to be done at Boeing’s factory in Renton, Wash.
Boeing activity in China is valued at more than $1 billion in economy activity in China. This includes procurement from Boeing’s extensive supply base, joint venture revenues, operations, training, and research and development investment.