ZHOUSHAN, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) — Boeing’s 737 Completion and Delivery Center in Zhoushan, a coastal city in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, will deliver its first plane in 737 family in December, said Boeing China on Friday.
“It is the first time that Boeing has extended the 737 production facilities overseas. The upcoming delivery also marks the first time Boeing has delivered an aircraft at an overseas site,” said John Bruns, president of Boeing China.
The newly-completed 737 airplane will be delivered to Air China.
The Boeing Zhoushan project is made up of two parts — a Boeing 737 completion center and the delivery center, in which the Boeing 737 aircraft will receive interior installation, painting, maintenance and delivery.
Boeing and its Chinese partner Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd.(COMAC) will jointly run the completion center, with the 737 delivery center being solely owned by Boeing.
“We will deliver the first 737 aircraft in Zhoushan this year, and we will gradually continue the ramp-up, making annual capacity reach 100,” Bruns said.
Boeing and COMAC signed an agreement in October 2016 to set up the plant in Zhoushan, 287 km southeast of Shanghai.
“The 737 Completion and Delivery Center in Zhoushan will only serve our Chinese customers, supporting them to expand the fleet and become more successful in the market,” Bruns said.
“We will stay focused to make the Zhoushan project successful, growing an aviation industrial system and enhancing the capacity of our suppliers,” he added.
China is of critical importance to Boeing’s performance in the global commercial aircraft market. Boeing delivered a record high of 202 new aircraft to China in 2017, representing its sixth consecutive year of more than 140 deliveries to the country.
Boeing’s global deliveries of commercial aircraft reached 763 in 2017, with those to China making up 26 percent.
China’s civil aviation industry saw air passenger volume reach 552 million in 2017, a 13 percent increase year on year, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
By the end of 2017, there were 58 airlines in China offering services on 4,418 air routes. The country’s civil aviation fleet reached 3,296 aircraft.
“Boeing is greatly honored in witnessing and supporting China’s aviation growth. We have been in cooperation with China for 46 years and have built a creative strategic partnership of win-win cooperation,” said Bruns, adding that Boeing will continue to deepen and facilitate cooperation with China.