Boeing Lands $38 Billion Jet Order From Chinese Airlines

China, Boeing Ink Two Deals During Xi Visit
  • Deal struck as President Xi Jinping tours Seattle factory
  • Order includes 737s and widebody planes for carriers, lessors

Boeing Co. landed an order for 300 jetliners, worth $38 billion, from Chinese carriers and lessors as some of the first business deals were unveiled on President Xi Jinping’s official state visit to the U.S.

The general agreement includes 190 737 aircraft and 50 widebody planes for Chinese airlines, and 60 of the single-aisle planes for leasing companies ICBC Financial Leasing Co. and CDB Leasing Co., Boeing said in a statement Wednesday.

“China is a critical international market for commercial airplanes,” said
Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Ray Conner.

Boeing and Airbus were poised to reap a haul of aircraft orders from Chinese airlines as central planners plot growth through 2020. China is Boeing’s largest international market, accounting for about a quarter of the company’s deliveries this year. Boeing is also exploring whether to open a factory in China to complete work on its top-selling 737-model jetliners, a person familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

The country is poised to displace the U.S. as the world’s biggest aircraft and travel market within two decades, according to Boeing. It predicts airlines will need to add 6,330 new planes valued at $950 billion by 2034 to keep pace with travel growth.

Air China Ltd., China Southern Airlines Co. and China Eastern Airlines Corp., the three biggest state-owned airlines, are expanding fleets as decades of economic boom enables more people to travel in the world’s most populous nation. A rash of budget airlines have also started in China to compete with the national carriers.

The agreement includes orders and commitments, according to the announcement. It didn’t specify the wide-body models that are being purchased or how many of the orders have already been booked by Boeing by “unidentified” customers.

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