Boe­ing-Air­bus ri­valry hots up at China air show

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

ZHUHAI: Aero­space gi­ants Boe­ing and Air­bus took pot­shots at one an­other at the Zhuhai Air Show, as the US and Euro­pean ri­vals seek to cap­ture more of China’s boom­ing air­craft mar­ket.

China is one of the Western man­u­fac­tur­ers’ key bat­tle­grounds, with its trav­ellers tak­ing to the skies in ever-grow­ing num­bers.

The coun­try’s airlines will need nearly 6,000 new planes worth US$945 bil­lion (RM3.95 tril­lion) over the next two decades, Air­bus said in its 2016-2035 Global Mar­ket Fore­cast.

Boe­ing’s ex­pec­ta­tions are even more op­ti­mistic, for 6,800 air­craft cost­ing US$1 tril­lion.

To win favour lo­cally both have built part­ner­ships with Chi­nese firms.

Air­bus has a com­ple­tion and de­liv­ery cen­tre in Tian­jin, where work­ers in­stall fur­nish­ings and ap­ply paint to air­craft for the do­mes­tic mar­ket. It also buys parts such as exit doors, brake blades and wing sec­tions from Chi­nese sup­pli­ers.

Boe­ing is plan­ning to open a fa­cil­ity with the sta­te­owned Com­mer­cial Air­craft Corp of China (Co­mac) to paint and in­stall cab­ins for 737-model planes, the Chi­nese firm said.

Eric Chen, pres­i­dent of Air­bus China, dis­missed the Seat­tle firm’s plan as “close to one gen­er­a­tion” be­hind his own firm, say­ing it was fol­low­ing Air­bus’s strat­egy “with a lot of re­luc­tance”.

Dar­ren Hulst, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor for Northeast Asia mar­ket­ing at Boe­ing, ear­lier told re­porters that the Air­bus A350 fell short of the 787 wide­body plane in range, ca­pac­ity, car­bon emis­sions, win­dow size and aero­dy­nam­ics. He added the com­pany had 14 China de­liv­er­ies of 787-9s in 2016 and had se­cured or­ders and com­mit­ments for 46 more. – AFP

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