Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting Boeing’s factory in Everett, Washington, Wednesday.
The purchase agreement, which is estimated to cost tens of billions of dollars in total, makes it the biggest order so far that the US based firm had received from China.
“The model here is global collaboration that allows us to grow jobs in the USA and deepen our presence in China“, said Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg. It predicts airlines will need to add 6,330 new planes worth US$950 billion (RM4.13 trillion) by 2034 to keep pace with travel growth. “We are bringing the Boeing 737 closer to our Chinese customers, supporting rising 737 production rates and enhancing our access to China’s dynamic and fast-growing aviation market“, said Ray Conner, president & CEO of Boeing’s commercial aircraft division.
The massive order, which was not immediately confirmed by Boeing, demonstrates the vital importance of the Chinese market despite a growth slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy that threatens to cut into the expansion of air travel.
Earlier media reports, citing Boeing sources, said this will be the company’s first non-U.S. airliner plant, tasked with the completion and handover of single-aisle 737 jets to customers.
Neither event was exactly unexpected, although the order for 300 Boeing planes may be larger than anticipated.
The aircraft manufacturer will also set up a 737 jet completion and delivery center in China, a move that has become contentious with company employees, concerned it might come at the expense of USA jobs.
Boeing and NDRC have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to continue the long-term strategic and industrial cooperation, which includes developing a world-class aviation transport system by delivering Boeing airplanes and services to China.
It’s Tinseth who oversees production of Boeing’s Current Market Outlook, a rolling forecast for jet demand looking 20 years into the future.
“The emerging middle class in China is helping to boost demand”, said Mohshin Aziz, an analyst at Malayan Banking Bhd in Kuala Lumpur.
China Aviation Supplies Holding, ICBC Financial Leasing and China Development Bank Leasing inked the agreement after Xi’s arrival in Seattle, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. Boeing declined to comment on the Shanghai newspaper report.
The dealmaking unfolded as China’s president was touring Seattle, a Boeing manufacturing stronghold, to address Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and other American and Chinese business leaders.