Boeing is celebrating a major milestone as it hands over its 2000th commercial jet to a Chinese operator. Delivery of a 737 MAX 8, B-1136 (c/n 43831), for Xiamen Airlines marked the achievement, complementing the carrier’s seven existing examples.
The American aerospace giant has used to occasion to reflect on the enormous growth within the China, which now represents the world’s largest commercial aviation market. In a remarkable statistic, Boeing says it delivered its first 1,000 aircraft to Chinese carriers over four decades, but the subsequent 1,000 have been delivered in just the past five years. The firm also revealed one in four of all Boeing commercial jets is delivered to a Chinese operator, either through a lease arrangement or direct purchase.
Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing at The Boeing Company commented; “We are deeply honoured to have achieved this delivery milestone in close partnership with our great partners in China. Our long-standing industrial relationship in this market has been mutually beneficial, fuelling significant growth in Boeing’s business, the US economy, and the Chinese aviation industry.”
Xiamen’s latest 737 MAX – powered by CFM International Leap-1B engines – has a special logo on the fuselage to mark the event. The airline operates the largest all-Boeing fleet of any Chinese operator, with more than 200 jets for both short and long-haul sectors.
“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.” added Che Shanglun, chairman of Xiamen Airlines. “Throughout that time, Boeing has been a valued partner in our growth and expansion by providing safe and reliable airplanes.”
Later this month, Boeing and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) are expected to deliver the first 737 MAX aircraft from a completion and delivery centre in Zhoushan in eastern China. The facility will handle interior work and exterior painting of 737 MAXs for the Chinese market, with final assembly work continuing to be performed at Renton in Washington state.