Top U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing delivered its 2,000th airplane to China on Friday, a milestone for the U.S. aircraft maker in the world's largest commercial aviation market.
The aircraft, a Boeing 737 MAX, is the eighth of the same model that Boeing has delivered to Xiamen Airlines, a fast growing carrier that operates the largest all-Boeing fleet in China with more than 200 jets.
"Our long-standing industrial relationship in this market has been mutually beneficial, fueling significant growth in Boeing's business, the U.S. economy, and the Chinese aviation industry," said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing at Boeing.
Che Shanglun, chairman of Xiamen Airlines, said his company has steadily grown in the past 34 years, doubling its fleet size over the past five years and achieving profits for 31 years in a row.
"Throughout that time, Boeing has been a valued partner in our growth and expansion by providing safe and reliable airplanes," he said.
Xiamen Airlines is one of Boeing's more than 30 commercial customers in China. Boeing-made jets comprise more than half of the over 3,000 jetliners flying in the Asian country.
Boeing delivered its first 1,000 airplanes to Chinese airlines over four decades, but the next 1,000 Boeing jets have been delivered over the past five years.
The next 20 years will witness China's commercial fleet more than doubled, and Boeing predicts China, the world's second largest economy, will need 7,690 new airplanes valued at 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars by 2038.
The commercial services market in China will be driven by a growing demand of 1.5 trillion dollars over the next two decades, accounting for 17 percent of the world total, Boeing said.