Photo: Joe G Walker

MIAMI — Boeing has delivered its 2,000th aircraft to China–a 737 MAX 8 for Xiamen Airlines. This remarkable milestone comes only five years after Boeing celebrated the delivery of its 1,000th plane to this country—about 35 years faster.

“We are deeply honored to have achieved this delivery milestone in close partnership with our great partners in China,” said Ihssane Mounir, SVP of Commercial Sales for Boeing.

Photo: Joe G Walker

During the first nine months of 2018, Boeing has delivered 153 jets to Chinese customers—already a noticeable increase from previous years, where an average of 140 planes were handed over to Chinese carriers every year.

Boeing began its adventure in China in 1972, when the country ordered ten Boeing 707s.

XiamenAir 737 MAX 8 C1 Flight: Milestone 2000th Boeing Aircraft for China – November 29, 2018

Today, one of every four planes that come out of Boeing’s assembly lines goes to a Chinese carrier, either through a direct purchase or a leasing agreement.

This rate might increase even more once Boeing’s new China-based Completion Center opens up by the end of this year, which will cater exclusively to Chinese and Asian carriers.

At this new center, interior fitting and aircraft painting will be carried out. However, the final assembly of all 737 aircraft will remain at Boeing’s Renton factory.

“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 Mounir.

First Boeing 737 MAX 8 for Chinese carrier, Fuzhou Airlines. Photo: Joe G Walker

Airbus, too, delivered its 1,000th plane to China 2013. However, the 2,000th plane isn’t expected to be delivered by 2020—almost two years behind Boeing.

Boeing predicts that China will need 7,690 new aircraft over the next 20 years, which has a total estimated value of $1.2 trillion.

First Boeing 737 MAX 8 for Chinese carrier, 9air. Photo: Joe G Walker

Xiamen Airlines Chariman, Che Shanglun, said he was “pleased to be a part of this historic delivery for Boeing and China.”

“In our 34-year history of operations, Xiamen Airlines has steadily grown, doubling our fleet size over the past five years and achieving profits for 31 years in a row,” he said.

First Boeing 737 MAX 8 for Chinese carrier, Lucky Air. Photo: Joe G Walker

“Throughout that time, Boeing has been a valued partner in our growth and expansion by providing safe and reliable airplanes.”

The brand-new Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 was given a special logo to mark the impressive milestone. The aircraft is also the 8th MAX to join Xiamen’s fleet, with another 22 737 MAX planes on order, consisting of 12 MAX 8s and 10 MAX 10s.