Boeing delivers 800th aircraft to China

The 800th Boeing aircraft to be sold to China -- a next-generation 737-800 -- has been delivered to Air China.

The milestone was marked by officials from Boeing, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and Air China Tuesday in Seattle, in the U.S. state of Washington, where the U.S. aviation giant is headquartered.

"Boeing and China have had a long-standing and productive partnership since 1972," a Boeing press release quoted Wang Changshun, deputy administrator of CAAC, as saying.

"The CAAC and Boeing have broad cooperation in safety, flight standards, airworthiness and new technologies. We hope we will continue to further strengthen this win-win partnership," Wang said.

The CAAC's first Boeing order was for 10 707s in 1972 and today its jets are the mainstay of China's air travel and cargo system, accounting for more than 50 percent of all the commercial jetliners operating in China.

"We have witnessed the rapid development of the aviation industry in China. We are honored to be part of the development by providing our best products and services," Jim Simon, vice president of Sales for China at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a statement.

"We are also proud that China has a sophisticated and expanding role in the commercial aviation industry and on all Boeing commercial airplane models including the 787 Dreamliner," he said.

Boeing said that, since the 1980s, it had purchased more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in aviation hardware and services from China and would double that in coming years.

According to the company, more than 5,700 Boeing airplanes currently in service include Chinese-made parts.

[Source: Xinhua, San Francisco, 20Jul10]

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