Air China receives new Boeing first
Boeing and joint venture partner Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd (COMAC) have celebrated the delivery of the first airplane from the new 737 Completion and Delivery Center in Zhoushan, China.
Air China received the first plane, marking a new era in Boeing's partnership with the Chinese aviation industry.
Delivery of the first MAX 8 comes 20 months after construction began at the 100-acre site.
The 737 Completion and Delivery Center is the first such Boeing facility outside of the United States.
The facility has been built in partnership with the Zhejiang Provincial and Zhoushan Municipal Governments and will become fully operational in phases as capacity is expanded over time.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister, said: "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."
Boeing 737 MAXs for Chinese airlines will be flown from Seattle to Zhoushan, where the joint Boeing-COMAC Completion Center will complete interior work on the airplanes.
"Congratulations to Boeing for delivering the first 737 MAX from Zhoushan," said Zhao Yuerang, president of COMAC.
He added: "This is 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, opening an era of the collaboration between the two airplane manufacturers of us."
China is presently on course to become the largest commercial aviation market in the world.
Boeing's latest Commercial Market Outlook forecasts that China will need 7,680 new airplanes worth US$1.2 trillion over the next 20 year and another $1.5 trillion in commercial services to support the country's growing fleet of airplanes.