The first 737 has rolled out of Boeing’s new completion and delivery centre in Zhoushan. Air China received the first plane from the facility which is a joint venture between Boeing and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC).
The handover comes 20 months after construction began on the 100-acre site which is the first of its kind to be based outside the United States. The 737 MAX 8, B-1178 (c/n 60906) was assembled at Boeing’s Renton facility before being ferried via Kalaeloa Airport in Hawaii, and Guam’s Antonio B Won Pat International Airport to the new completion and delivery centre at Zhoushan Putuoshan Airport.
Zhao Yuerang, president of COMAC congratulated Boeing on delivering its first aircraft saying that it was “a significant milestone of Boeing’s efforts to deepen its footprint in China, as well as to support the growth of China’s airline industry.”
We’re celebrating the first delivery to @AirChinaNA with joint venture partner @COMACAmerica today from the new 737 Completion and Delivery Center in Zhoushan, China, marking a new era in #Boeing’s partnership with the Chinese aviation industry. RELEASE: https://t.co/aft9TBVCPM pic.twitter.com/25sfJEdGIf
— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) December 15, 2018
The complex will complete interior work on aircraft with work expected to gradually expand to include painting, following the addition of three hangers. Once completed, jets will move to the adjacent Boeing-operated delivery centre for customer acceptance activities and delivery formalities.
Commenting on the development, Boeing’s commercial airplanes president and CEO, Kevin McAllister added: “This moment signifies our growing partnership with China that stretches back over nearly half a century, we’re proud of our long relationship with the Chinese government, airlines and industry partners and the trust they place in Boeing.”
The new centre is designed to handle the whole 737 MAX family of aircraft. With one third of all 737 deliveries go to Chinese customers, the new facility is likely to help the US aerospace giant to expand even further in the country.