Boe­ing’s China busi­ness boom­ing amid tar­iff-talk tur­bu­lence

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - Wil­liam Hen­nelly

While Boe­ing is usu­ally the first com­pany men­tioned as a po­ten­tial ca­su­alty if the US and China en­gaged in a trade show­down, for now busi­ness be­tween the Amer­i­can air­craft gi­ant and China is boom­ing, re­cip­ro­cal and cor­dial.

Boe­ing com­petes with France’s Air­bus SE — of­ten men­tioned as the likely win­ner in the event of a US-China trade stand­off — to sell pas­sen­ger jets to Chi­nese air­lines, which is quite the mar­ket.

China will need 7,240 new planes val­ued at al­most $1.1 tril­lion through 2036, Boe­ing said on Sept 6. That com­pares with its pro­jec­tions last Septem­ber for 6,810 air­craft through 2035.

“China’s con­tin­u­ous eco­nomic growth, sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture, grow­ing mid­dle class and evolv­ing air­line busi­ness models sup­port this long-term out­look,” Randy Tin­seth, vice-pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing, Boe­ing Com­mer­cial Air­planes, said last week.

“China’s fleet size is ex­pected to grow at a pace well above the world av­er­age, and al­most 20 per­cent of global new air­plane de­mand will be from air­lines based in China,” Tin­seth said.

Tin­seth said China’s out­bound travel mar­ket is trend­ing toward 200 mil­lion pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally, and more than 50 per­cent of all the com­mer­cial jet­lin­ers op­er­at­ing in China are made by Boe­ing, the com­pany said, which re­quires a lot of work­ers.

About 150,000 US avi­a­tion jobs de­pend on the Chi­nese mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to Ray Con­ner, vice-chair­man of Boe­ing.

But Boe­ing also pro­vides man­u­fac­tur­ing and main­te­nance jobs to Chi­nese.

China has a com­po­nent role on ev­ery cur­rent Boe­ing com­mer­cial air­plane – the Nex­tGen­er­a­tion 737, 747, 767, 777, as well as the world’s most tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced air­plane, the 787 Dream­liner.

More than 9,000 Boe­ing air­planes fly around the world with in­te­grated China-built parts and as­sem­blies.

There’s big busi­ness in air­craft main­te­nance, too.

On Aug 30, joint ven­ture Boe­ing Shang­hai Avi­a­tion Ser­vices Co Ltd (Boe­ing Shang­hai) and Xi­a­men Air cel­e­brated the com­ple­tion of the first 787-8 base main­te­nance check, also known as a C-check, and Wi-Fi mod­i­fi­ca­tion at Pudong Air­port.

“We are very pleased with the 787 C-check and Wi-Fi mod­i­fi­ca­tion per­formed by Boe­ing Shang­hai,” said Tang Jianqi, Xi­a­men Air gen­eral man­ager of air­craft main­te­nance and engi­neer­ing.

A C-check is an ex­ten­sive re­view of the air­plane’s sys­tems and com­po­nents.

“The suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion is a tes­ta­ment to Boe­ing Shang­hai’s ca­pa­bil­ity in the 787 main­te­nance and mod­i­fi­ca­tion mar­ket,” said Der­mot Swan, CEO of Boe­ing Shang­hai.

Xi­a­men’s Dream­lin­ers fly be­tween Seattle-Ta­coma In­ter­na­tional Air­port and China’s high-tech center of Shen­zen.

China South­ern Air­lines Co is seek­ing to ex­pand from about 700 planes to more than 1,000 by the end of the decade, while Hainan Air­lines is bring­ing in the Dream­liner to help it launch non­stop flights from smaller Chi­nese cities.

China it­self will likely com­pete in the next 20 years to sup­ply pas­sen­ger jets, with Com­mer­cial Air­craft Corp of China hav­ing con­ducted the maiden test flight for its C919 nar­row-body jet in May. The com­pany says it has re­ceived more than 600 or­ders.

In fact, China’s Global Times re­ported on Mon­day that the do­mes­ti­cally made Changjiang-1000 en­gine is un­der de­vel­op­ment and will even­tu­ally re­place im­ported for­eign en­gines for the C919, ac­cord­ing to Cao Chunx­iao, a re­searcher with Aero En­gine Corp of China Beijing In­sti­tute of Aero­nau­ti­cal Ma­te­ri­als.

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