From: Chuanga@cris.com (H Andrew Chuang) Date: 30 Oct 1997 23:18:02 GMT Organization: Concentric Internet Services
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China has officially announced a US$3 billion order for a total of 50 Boeing planes. The order consists of 36 B737s (I believe most, if not all, will be the next-generation B737), a B747-400, 5 B757s, and 8 B777s. In 1994, it was reported China would order up to US$6 billion of Boeing planes before China's aviation authority imposed a two-year restriction on aircraft orders to improve China's aviation safety standard. Since then, the Sino-US relation has more downs than ups, and China has made two major Airbus orders for 40 A320s, 20 A321s and 6 A340s. China also opted Airbus as its Western partner for the 100-seat regional jet project. During the same period, Boeing got three token orders for 4 B747-400s (which Air China desperately needed) and 5 B777s. Today's order is not only important to Boeing in terms of Boeing's Chinese market share in the future, but it's also very significant for the next-generation B737. Although, the B737NG is doing extremely well (with more than 700 sold even before it has entered into revenue service), the A320 family overwhelms the B737 in the Asia-Pacific market. Taiwan's China Airlines, India's Jet Airways and Fiji's Air Pacific are the only three airline operators that have ordered the B737NG in the region.