Boeing, Shanghai Airport Authority and Shanghai Airlines have opened a new two-bay hangar at their joint venture, Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services. Located at Shanghai Pudong Airport, the new hangar is a major element of Boeing Shanghai’s plan to become a significant aviation services provider in China.
Bombardier announced during last month’s Zuhai Air Show that the Qingdao Fei Sheng International Aviation Technology Development Training Co. (Qingdao Fei Sheng Training Center), a joint venture between Bombardier Aerospace and Shandong Airlines, will provide initial training for Shanghai Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet pilots.
Antonov | An-148
An extensive “restructuring” of Boeing’s Alteon Training subsidiary will see the company close four training centers, redistribute assets to other centers and open a new facility in Shanghai to house the first Boeing 787 simulator in China. The facilities marked for closure include Long Beach, Calif., Dallas, Texas, Kunming, China and Luton, UK. Boeing expects to close the two U.S. centers and the Chinese facility in December.
It’s suddenly fashionable to look to China as an up-and-coming economic force, a trend that has drawn billions of dollars in foreign investment into an economy that only 25 years ago grudgingly began to move away from a Soviet-style, centrally planned system.
Xi’an Aircraft Industries delivered the first sets of ARJ21-700 wings and main fuselage sections for final assembly to Shanghai Aircraft Company early last month, heralding the start of final assembly of the 90-seat jet design’s first prototype. The milestone deliveries nearly coincided with the opening of an office by the FAA in Shanghai to support Chinese authorities’ efforts to meet international certification standards.
China’s AVIC I Commercial Aircraft (ACAC) continues its march toward a 2008 introduction of the 85-seat ARJ21-700, finishing more or less on schedule some 90 percent of the aircraft’s structural design and 50 percent of its systems design by the end of last year.
The Chinese government has acknowledged that although China’s airlines have improved in airline management and operations, they still lag their major Asian competitors. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization and its continuing march toward a market economy present significant challenges to its airline industry.
China’s red-hot air cargo export market is expected to cool somewhat this year, but domestic demand for new freighters is projected to take off. That was the consensus from last week’s Airfreight Asia conference, held in Shanghai. During the event, EADS-EFW and China Eastern Airlines signed a deal to convert three A300-600s to freighter configuration, with more to come.
China’s long-planned ARJ21 regional jet, which was supposed to enter commercial service in 2008, is now certain to be delayed by at least one year.
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