Boe­ing: China de­mand re­mains steady

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By AGEN­CIES

Boe­ing Co isn’t ex­pe­ri­enc­ing any slip­page in de­mand for jet­lin­ers in China, de­spite the coun­try’s slug­gish eco­nomic growth, a se­nior Boe­ing ex­ec­u­tive said.

“We’re not see­ing any soft­ness yet,” Ihssane Mounir, Boe­ing’s se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of sales for North­east Asia, said on Wed­nes­day at a brief­ing mark­ing the 50th 787 Dream­liner de­liv­ered to ANA Hold­ings Inc, Ja­pan’s largest air­line.

“We’re watch­ing it close,” Mounir added, since global eco­nomic con­di­tions could shift. “But if I just look at the Chi­nese mar­ket as it stands to­day, I’m not see­ing any signs of weak­ness what­so­ever.”

Global de­mand for wide-body air­craft has slowed, rais­ing con­cerns about sales growth at Boe­ing and ri­val Air­bus. Boe­ing said last week it may fur­ther cut pro­duc­tion of wide­body 777 jet­lin­ers and not in­crease out­put of 787s un­less sales im­prove.

A strong ex­change rate for Ja­pan’s cur­rency has slowed some of China’s tourism to Ja­pan, said Hideki Kunugi, ANA’s se­nior vice-pres­i­dent for the Amer­i­cas. But he said ANA’s de­ci­sion to ex­pand its ca­pac­ity and its net­work in China is sup­ported by de­mand.

ANA took de­liv­ery on Wed­nes­day of a new 787-9, the mid-sized ver­sion of Boe­ing’s high-tech, long­haul Dream­liner air­craft. The jet seats 290 pas­sen­gers in a two-class con­fig­u­ra­tion and car­ries a list price of $264.6 mil­lion, though air­lines typ­i­cally ne­go­ti­ate dis­counts.

ANA is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ro­bust growth in busi­ness travel from Ja­pan to Latin Amer­ica, Kunugi said, adding that it plans to launch a route from Tokyo to Mex­ico City in Fe­bru­ary 2017 us­ing the 787 as part of its Latin Amer­ica strat­egy. “Our cur­rent main tar­get will be Tokyo and Mex­ico and on­ward,” he said.

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