China’s huge aviation market could prompt US aerospace giant Boeing to resume operations in a facility of finishing and of delivery located in an eastern island city (Zhoushan), after a long interruption which followed the global suspension of production of 737 MAX.
This decision comes against a backdrop of improving relations between the United States and China and a aviation market booming in China. The installation, a joint venture with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac) created in 2018, should resume deliveries by mid-November. The factory of Zhoushan was initially designed to meet the growing demand for Boeing aircraft, not only in China but also in the Asia-Pacific region. The first delivery was made to Air China in December 2018, but operations were later suspended after the type of aircraft was grounded following two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that occurred less than five months apart, killing 346 people. Although it has not received any new orders from mainland Chinese airlines since the start of the trade war between the United States and China in 2018, Boeing’s order backlog includes an order for Greater Bay Airlines For 15 Boeing 737-9 and five 787 Dreamliners.
China’s booming economy and increasing air traffic make it a crucial market for Boeing. It is estimated that China will need around 8,560 new commercial aircraft by 2042, mainly single-aisle planes like the 737 MAX. Despite competition from Airbus and the Chinese plane C919Boeing sees significant market potential in China.
Boeing faces difficulties expanding in China due to US trade war and strong competition from Airbuswho obtained a massive order from 432 planes in 2022 and a deal worth $17 billion for 140 planes. In response, Boeing has diversified its investments across China, including a composite parts factory in Tianjina service center and a training campus in Shanghai, as well as the facilities of Zhoushan.
Boeing’s full line of commercial aircraft will play a crucial role in meeting China’s growing demand, according to Darren Hulst, Boeing’s vice president of commercial marketing. This announcement comes as China recently abandoned its policy zero Covid, leading to a rebound in domestic travel demand and further improving Boeing’s outlook. The resumption of flights 737 MAX in the Chinese market signals a positive turning point for Boeing.