Boeing has delivered the 8,888th 737 to come off the production line, a 737-800 for Chinese carrier Xiamen Airlines.
The aircraft features a special livery commemorating the significance of the delivery.
Part of the significance for Xiamen Airlines is that in China the number ‘8’ is considerably particularly lucky, because in Pinyin it sounds similar to the word which means ‘wealth’ or ‘prosper’.
In regional dialects such as Cantonese, the words ‘eight’ and ‘fortune’ are also similar.
“This milestone delivery comes at a good time to cater to strong travel demand over the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival period,” said Che Shanglun, president and chairman of Xiamen Airlines. “With the special lucky number livery, the airplane also brings our best wishes of good fortune for our passengers.”
Formed in 1984 as the first joint venture between the Civil Aviation Administration of China and a Chinese municipal government, Xiamen Airlines is China’s only all-Boeing carrier.
The airline began flying passengers in 1985 with two 737-200s, serving three cities.
Xiamen Airlines has now expanded its fleet size to 133 Boeing aircraft, including 17 737-700s, 106 737-800s, four 757-200s and six 787-8s.
It has another 42 737-800s on order and has indicated it will also order 30 737 MAX 8s, subject to hinese government approval.
However, Xiamen Airlines may be set to become not an all-Boeing carrier, as it has also indicated an intention to order six China-built COMAC ARJ21 regional jets.
The carrier has a record of 29 consecutive years of profit, according to Boeing.