Boeing Made Delivery of The First 787 to China Since 2019

Boeing has made its first direct delivery of a 787 Dreamliner to China since 2019, which could potentially bring an end to China's freeze on deliveries of Boeing's profit-making 737 MAX. The delivery was made to Juneyao Airlines, a privately owned Chinese carrier, and the plane took off from Everett Paine Field in Washington state at 11:24 a.m. Pacific Time and headed towards Shanghai. 


The delivery was confirmed in a statement by Boeing. On the news of the delivery, Boeing shares jumped about 1.6% before the U.S. stock market opened and remained flat during afternoon trade. In 2019, China suspended most orders and deliveries of Boeing planes after the 737 MAX was grounded worldwide following two fatal crashes. 

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Resuming MAX deliveries would represent a reset of Boeing's relationship with China, allowing it to offload dozens of planes in its inventory, and this Dreamliner delivery is seen as a stepping stone towards a larger breakthrough in deliveries and orders. According to Richard Aboulafia of AeroDynamic Advisories, "This is clearly a move by the (Chinese) government that might just signal to the airlines that they're free to take deliveries and perhaps even place orders." Boeing last delivered a leased Dreamliner plane to a Chinese customer in 2021, but no 787s have been handed over directly to Chinese airlines since November 2019. Consultancy AAP/AIR reported preparatory flight activities for a 787 designated for Juneyao Airlines, registered as B-20EQ, leading analysts to expect the resumption of Dreamliner deliveries to China. 

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Of the 60 undelivered 787s in Boeing's inventory, twelve are dedicated to Chinese operators. Boeing projects that China will compose 20% of the world’s aircraft demand through 2042, making it one of the most important aerospace markets. However, any progress with China is still subject to geopolitical shifts between Washington and Beijing, according to Rob Stallard of Vertical Research Partners. On Wednesday, trade publication The Air Current reported that Boeing had won a key clearance from China's aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), allowing the planemaker to prepare MAX aircraft for delivery.

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