Skip to Content

Boeing Delivers Its 1st 737 Jet From Completion Center in China

The first 737 MAX airliner was delivered from Boeing’s new Zhoushan factory in a ceremony to Air China on Saturday. This comes amid the 90-day truce in the U.S. and China’s trade war.

The 100-acre completion site is the first of its kind for Boeing and is part of the U.S. aerospace company’s plan to deepen its connection to what will soon be the biggest aviation market in the world. The factory is a joint venture between the company and China’s Commercial Aircraft Corporation (COMAC).

Production starts with exteriors made in Seattle, before going off to China for interior fitting, Simply Flying reported. The Boeing delivery center takes control over product quality and then hands over the finished jets to clients.

The location in China allows Boeing to speed up delivery and easy access to maintenance. According to Simply Flying, critics believe the new plant will take away jobs from U.S.-based workers, though more workers will also be required for transportation and management.

CNN reported that Boeing estimates China will need 7,680 new planes worth $1.2 trillion over the next 20 years, plus $1.5 trillion in commercial services to support the new fleets. This will help the company stay aligned with European competitor Airbus. Meanwhile, China is set to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest air travel market by 2022, according to the International Air Transport Association.

“This is a significant milestone of Boeing’s efforts to deepen its footprint in China, as well as to support the growth of China’s airline industry, opening an era of the collaboration,” Zhao Yuerang, president of COMAC, said in a statement obtained by CNN.
Boeing’s new site was in the works before President Donald Trump was elected but found itself front and center as the new administration waged a tariff war on Chinese goods to punish the country for what Trump called unfair trade practices. A temporary broad deal was unveiled earlier this month between Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.