China Aviation Supply Company has finalized
its agreement with Boeing 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
"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 passengers."
The airplanes, to be delivered in 2005 and 2006, are allocated as follows:
"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."
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. 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.