Boeing and joint venture partner Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China have celebrated the delivery of the first airplane from the new 737 completion and delivery centre in Zhoushan, China.
Air China received the first plane, marking a new era in Boeing’s partnership with the Chinese aviation industry.
Delivery of the first MAX 8, assembled in Renton, Wash. and completed in China, comes 20 months after construction began at the 100-acre site.
The 737 centre is the first such Boeing facility outside of the United States.
The facility has been built in partnership with the Zhejiang provincial and Zhoushan municipal governments and will become fully operational in phases as capacity is expanded over time.
“This moment signifies our growing partnership with China that stretches back over nearly half a century,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president, Kevin McAllister.
“We are proud of our long relationship with the Chinese government, airlines and industry partners and the trust they place in Boeing.”
Boeing 737 MAXs for Chinese airlines will be flown from Seattle to Zhoushan, where the joint Boeing-COMAC Completion Centre will complete interior work on the airplanes.
The statement of work will gradually expand to include painting with the addition of three paint hangers.
Once completed, airplanes will move to the adjacent Boeing-operated delivery centre for customer acceptance activities and delivery formalities.
The facility, which covers 666,000 sq. ft. in total, is designed to support the entire 737 MAX family of airplanes, from the long-range MAX 7 to the high-capacity MAX 10.
With about one third of all 737 deliveries going to Chinese customers, the Zhoushan facility will enable Chinese airline customers to update and expand their fleets with the most technologically-advanced Boeing single-aisle airplanes available.