On a tarmac in Seattle on November 30th local time, the Boeing Company completed delivery of a new yet historically important airplane to Xiamen Airlines. The particular addition to China’s civil aviation fleet had a unique message painted on its hull, 2000th BOEING AIRCRAFT for CHINA, in celebration of a meaningful milestone, the two thousandth aircraft to be delivered by Boeing to China’s civil aviation sector.
With the delivery of the new Boeing737 MAX8, Xiamen Airlines’ fleet now consists of 210 aircraft and becomes the largest all-Boeing fleet in China.
As one of the first US-based companies to enter China, Boeing has, from day one, been committed to its partnership with the country’s civil aviation sector for over 40 years. In 1972, commercial airlines operating within the country placed their first order, 10 Boeing 707s, marking the start of the long-lasting partnership. Since then, Boeing has delivered thousands of new aircraft to Chinese commercial airlines.
As the Chinese economy continues to grow, on the heels of the expansion of the national reform and opening up policy, China’s civil aviation has become one of the country’s fastest-growing industries. In 1978, Chinese airlines transported 2.3 million passengers. In 2017, the sector served 550 million passengers, 239 times the amount served in 1978 and representing 29 percent of the country’s total for all forms of mass transportation.
Xiamen Airlines is the first Chinese carrier to adopt a market-oriented management model. The airline was founded in 1984. After 34 years of steady growth, Xiamen Airlines is now the fifth largest aviation group in China. It is often cited as China’s most notable success within the country’s civil aviation industry.
The speed at which the airline grew is inseparable from the operation of its Boeing aircraft fleet. From the introduction of Boeing 737-200s and 737-300s in the 1980s, 757-200 in the 1990s, to the 737NG series just after the start of the new millennium, and followed more recently by the new 787 Dreamliner and 737MAX, Xiamen Airlines has worked closely with Boeing.
Thanks to the excellent quality and performance of Boeing aircraft and the close cooperation between the two companies, Xiamen Airlines has maintained the longest profit record in China’s civil aviation industry, having stayed in the black for 31 consecutive years.