Boeing Scores BIG, Politically Important, Order
You can hear the
champaign glasses clinking away in Seattle... Boeing has confirmed
the recent rumors of a BIG sale to China. China Aviation Supply
Company has finalized its agreement to purchase 30 Next-Generation
737 airplanes worth approximately $1.7 billion, based on average
list prices. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans hosted a
signing ceremony for the agreement at the Department of Commerce.
Zhang Guobao, vice chairman -- National Development and Reform
Commission, led the People's Republic of China's delegation while
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer
Alan Mulally was Boeing's senior representative.
"The Chinese aviation industry is the fastest growing market in
the world," Zhang said. "Adding these 737 airplanes to our current
fleet of 672 airplanes will help Chinese airlines meet their
rapidly growing networks and accommodate the rising demand from our
The airplanes, to be delivered in 2005 and 2006, are allocated
"The Next-Generation 737 is an excellent answer to the growing
demand for air travel in China," said Li Jun, vice minister -
General Administration of Civil Aviation of China. "These airplanes
will play an important role in meeting the ever-increasing demand
of China's air travel market."
Derived from an outstanding heritage, the newest members of the
737 family -- the 737-600/-700/-800/-900 models -- entered service
just five years ago. The all-new digitally designed 737s are
outfitted with larger wings and more powerful engines, which allow
them to fly higher, faster, and farther than previous models and
competing airplanes. In addition, new flight deck features include
advanced programmable software and liquid-crystal flat-panel
displays that are not available on competing models.
"China and Boeing have shared a long and mutually beneficial
relationship for more than 30 years," Mulally said. "We are proud
to be the preferred partner of China's aviation industry."
Boeing forecasts that in the next 20 years, China will require
2,400 new airplanes valued at $197 billion, making it one of the
fastest growing markets in the world for commercial aviation. The
need for new airplanes is required to support a 7.1 percent annual
increase in air travel in China from 2003 to 2022, compared to the
world average of 5.1 percent. China's 20-year Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) forecast is 6.2 percent -- the highest in the world,
and Boeing projects that domestic air travel growth will outpace
the GDP growth over the next two decades.
Last year, Boeing and China celebrated the 30th anniversary of
their "Working Together" relationship.
Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and the United
States' leading exporter with revenues of $54.1 billion in 2002.
The company and its subsidiaries employ more than 152,000 people in
47 states. In the past 12 months, Boeing business with more than
21,000 companies has totaled approximately $24 billion.