Boeing may once again deliver a commercial aircraft to a Chinese airline as early as 2021. According to sources from Bloomberg, the US planemaker is expected to deliver a 787-9 Dreamliner to Juneyao Airlines on Thursday, December 21.
The Shanghai-based carrier has six aircraft of the type and another four on track to be delivered, but since the grounding of the 737 MAX in 2019, Boeing has come under heavy scrutiny from China’s civil aviation authorities.
Until recently, the 737 MAX was banned from flying in the country, but the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) lifted the suspension. Still, deliveries of the narrow-body jet have not yet resumed.
Furthermore, relations between the governments of the United States and China have been strained for several years amid trade accusations. Only months ago, the two countries returned to talks on more friendly terms, which would have contributed to the easing of restrictions.
The Juneyao Air Boeing 787-9, registration B-20EQ, performed a local flight on December 12, which may have served as part of the customer acceptance process.
Juneyao Air was founded in 2006 and is a private airline, unlike most Chinese carriers, which are controlled by the communist government.
The company’s fleet comprises 91 aircraft, including six Boeing 787s, 48 Airbus A320s and 37 A321s.
Its flight network is concentrated in mainland China, but there are routes to Southeast Asia, Japan and Europe.
Boeing says the Chinese market will account for 20% of global aircraft demand by 2042. While part of future orders are expected to be filled by local ARJ21, C919 and C929 jets, Western manufacturers are expected to continue to play an important role in supplying new aircraft. .