The sale of 300 Boeing Co. airplanes worth $38 billion to Chinese firms—the largest aerospace order ever from China—was announced last week during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Boeing in Seattle. The deal also includes a plan to establish a joint venture between Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (COMAC) to open Boeing’s first facility in China, which will serve as a completion and delivery center for future Boeing 737 airliners. Details regarding the China facility are yet to be announced.
In the deal, Chinese airlines bought 240 airplanes, including 197 737s and 50 wide-body aircrafts. The other 60 737s were bought by leasing companies Industrial and Commercial Bank Financial Leasing Co. and China Development Bank Leasing Co.
With the expansion of both private and state-owned airlines, the Chinese commercial airplane fleet is expected to grow from 2,570 planes in 2014 to 7,210 planes in 20 years. One of Boeing’s French rivals in China, Airbus Group SE, has already established two joint venture facilities with COMAC in China, the second of which is expected to deliver its first wide-body A330 jet airliner in 2018.