File photo of Boeing 737 [Photo: sina.com.cn]
US aerospace giant Boeing will soon commence work on a facility in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province.
Once completed, the plant will have the capacity to process the final assembly work of as many as 100 737 aircraft every year.
The airframes, which will still be manufactured by Boeing in America, will be flown to Zhoushan for the installation of fittings, seats and entertainment systems.
Many of these aircraft will be destined for the Chinese market, given that the projected growth of demand over the next few years means that the country will buy as much as $1 trillion worth of aircraft from Boeing, and European rival Airbus.
Boeing is very much behind Airbus in terms of assembling aircraft in China. Airbus has had a manufacturing plant in Tianjin for several years, with a second facility currently being planned (and coincidentally, one in Alabama, USA).
Despite that, Boeing is working hard to maintain strong ties with China. As we reported in December, the company's Vice Chairman had made great efforts during the Presidential election campaign to underline the huge importance of the Chinese market to his company.
Apparently, 150,000 jobs at Boeing depend on contracts and orders with China.