Boeing is offering to help China's major airlines restructure their finances as they merge into three groups under the direction of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The move forms part of efforts by the US giant to grow its aviation-related businesses in areas such as financing, air traffic management, communications and maintenance.

"We plan to get much more active in China," says Boeing China president Fred Howard. "We are interested in helping China's airlines restructure their balance sheets prior to going public."

He says this would involve helping the airlines to finance their aircraft fleets as efficiently as possible through a combination of operating leases, finance leases and outright purchases.

Boeing has also briefed Chinese officials on its plans to develop a satellite-based air traffic management system and has received an "enthusiastic" response, says Howard.

He remains optimistic that likely demand in China for some 300 narrowbodies seating more than 100 passengers over five years can be sustained.

Source: Flight International