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Boeing stands firm on China completions centre

Even as the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 Max continues, the airframer's plans for its 737 completion and delivery centre in Zhoushan remain unchanged.

Responding to FlightGlobal's queries, Boeing says there is "no change" in plans for the centre, which, as recently as December last year, delivered its first aircraft, an Air China 737 Max 8.

The site is the first such facility outside the USA. It has a completions centre built in partnership with Chinese airframer Comac, and a delivery centre which Boeing wholly owns.

Asset Image

Air China took delivery of the first Boeing 737 Max completed in China in December 2018

Paul Lewis/Boeing

FlightGlobal has previously reported that the Zhoushan facility will install interiors and paint liveries when up and running. It will employ about 300 staff and deliver 100 737 Max aircraft annually to Boeing's Chinese customers.

However, the Max was grounded – China was the first country to do so – not long after that first delivery, following two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

In regard to the status of the Zhoushan facility, Boeing states that existing work includes finalising and completing all construction. Other work, such as logistics and employee training, are also being carried out.

The update comes as the airframer meets with Chinese carriers to discuss the narrowbody's eventual return to service. Earlier in the month, it began a second round of "open discussions" with major Chinese carriers.

Boeing adds that it is working with the Civil Aviation Administration of China – as well as other global regulators – to complete and certify the 737 Max software and training updates.

Cirium fleets data shows that Chinese carriers have 97 737 Max aircraft in storage and a further 214 on order.

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