On December 21st, 2023, a significant milestone marked a potential thaw in Boeing’s icy relationship with China’s aviation industry. After a four-year hiatus, the American aerospace giant handed over a brand new 787 Dreamliner directly to a Chinese airline, Juneyao Airlines. This delivery, landing in Shanghai on December 22nd, could be a harbinger of things to come, paving the way for the resumption of 737 MAX deliveries, Boeing’s best-selling aircraft.
According to Boeing, on Thursday, the Boeing 787-9 operated by privately held Juneyao Airlines departed from the Everett, Washington, facility and headed for Shanghai. A leasing business delivered a brand-new Boeing 787 to a Chinese airline for the last time in 2021.
Around 4:20 p.m. local time (0820 GMT), the airline reported that the flight touched down in Shanghai.
2019 saw China halt the majority of Boeing orders and delivery after two catastrophic incidents caused the 737 MAX to be grounded globally.
This event’s significance cannot be emphasized enough. China is one of Boeing’s most important international markets, contributing significantly to the company’s orders. However, supplies have been suspended since 2019 due to tensions between the two nations and the 737 MAX’s grounding after two catastrophic incidents.
The dynamic between the US and China has been increasingly marked by economic pressure, particularly through US sanctions targeting various sectors of China’s economy. In response, China has adopted a multi-pronged approach, aiming to mitigate the impact of these measures while asserting its economic independence.
Boeing has been rushing to meet demand for new aircraft, even though producers bear the majority of the cost of the aircraft. Regulatory hurdles within China and lingering concerns about the MAX’s safety could potentially delay progress.
Studies suggest the macroeconomic impact on China’s overall GDP growth has been minimal. However, sanctions have affected specific sectors, hindering technology transfer and investment in areas like semiconductors and aerospace.
Sanctions may hasten China’s goal of being technologically self-sufficient in some areas. On the other hand, this change can necessitate large upfront costs and result in short-term inefficiency.