Saturday 22 July 2017

Boeing lands $10bn boost from Chinese airlines

A Chinese visitor takes a close look at a model of the latest Boeing 747-8 passenger plane at the Asian Aerospace Show in Hong Kong
A Chinese visitor takes a close look at a model of the latest Boeing 747-8 passenger plane at the Asian Aerospace Show in Hong Kong

Wendy Leung and Susanna Ray

BOEING has won orders from Chinese airlines for 43 wide-body planes with a list value of about $10 billion (€7.5bn), including the first deal in a year for the delayed 747-8 jumbo jet.

Hong Kong Airlines agreed to buy 32 787 Dreamliners and six 777 freighters, Chicago-based Boeing said on its website yesterday.

Air China said separately that it would order five 747-8s. Both accords were signed at the Hong Kong air show.

The orders underscore the importance to Boeing and Airbus SAS of China, where passenger numbers probably will jump 69pc by 2015, according to the nation's industry regulator.

China will help the Asia-Pacific region account for a third of global plane deliveries over the next 20 years, Boeing said.

"Many airlines in this region are still thinking about growing capacity and China is the major market," said Kelvin Lau, an analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research Pte in Hong Kong.

Air China's 747-8s will be delivered in 2014 and 2015, according to a statement from the Beijing-based carrier. It said it won "significant" discounts from the $1.54 billion list prices. Air China is the third airline worldwide to order the passenger plane and the first in China.

"It's an important breakthrough for Boeing in the context of the 747-8 programme and its role in Asia where A380 orders have been strong," said Derek Sadubin, chief operating officer at Sydney-based consultant Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation.

While Airbus has won 244 orders for its A380, Boeing's previous total for the 747-8 Intercontinental passenger model was 33 in about five years as a year- long delay and a slowdown in travel during the recession damped demand for the company's biggest jet.

Andy Tinseth, Boeing's commercial-jet marketing chief, said the company saw more opportunities as older 747s reached retirement age and as travel rebounded.

Boeing gained 88 cents, or 1.2pc, to $71.76 in early NY Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had risen 8.6pc this year before yesterday.

The 747-8 is Boeing's most-expensive jet, listing for $317.5 million for the passenger model and $319.3 million for the freighter variant. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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