Boeing Co has signed deals to sell 300 aircraft to three Chinese firms and set up an aircraft plant in China, becoming the first U.S. firm to clinch a business tie-up in the country since Chinese president Xi Jinping began a U.S. state visit, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Boeing later said it had won orders and commitments from China for 250 narrowbody 737 aircraft and 50 widebody aircraft, valued at about $38 billion at list prices. It is the largest order the aerospace firm has received from Chinese companies.
China’s ICBC Financial Leasing Co, a unit of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, on Wednesday separately confirmed it will buy 30 of Boeing’s 737-800 jets, worth $2.88 billion at list prices.
China Aviation Supplies Holding Company and China Development Bank Leasing are the other two customers for the aircraft, said Xinhua.
Boeing, which is locked in a fierce battle for plane orders with European rival Airbus, will build its first aircraft completion plant outside the United States in China in order to gain a foothold in that important market, say industry observers.
Boeing raised its forecast for China’s aircraft demand by 5 percent in August, saying that the country will need 6,330 planes over the next 20 years.
It signed a cooperation document with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) to build the aircraft completion center for its 737 passenger jet in China, added Xinhua. The agency didn’t disclose further details.
An aircraft’s interiors and some systems are usually installed, and the plane is painted in the customer’s livery, at completion centers. The final flight trials are then completed before the aircraft is delivered to the customer. Read more