Boeing battles with Chinese manufacturers

HOME-GROWN aircraft manufacturer Commercial Aircraft (Comac) is putting pressure on Boeing to fulfil China’s expected freighter fleet boom.

Chinese air carriers are forecast to add about 400 freighter aircraft by 2030, Boeing said. The majority of the demand will be for large, long-range freighters such as the 747-8F and 777F, with most traffic growth projected on long-haul traffic lanes tied to China.

Comac is working on its own competitor for the single-aisle aircraft market, the C919, designed to compete directly against the 737 and the Airbus A320. The Chinese player has already finalised orders for 100 150-seat C919 jets. The agreements were reached with Air China, CDB Leasing, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines and GE Capital Aviation Services.

Boeing may decide to redesign the 737 aircraft to compete with the C919, but a formal decision on whether to build a new 737 or update it with new engines is not impending.

In total China is expected to become the world’s number two aircraft market as it will require some 5,000 new commercial jets valued at US$600 billion over the 20 years.

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