Boeing Commercial Airplanes delivered the first 737 MAX aircraft to China to Air China, part of a $6-billion order for 60 aircraft (737 MAX and 737 Next Generation) announced in December 2014. The 737 MAX is a twin-engine, narrow-body aircraft designed as an update to the 50-year-old 737 series, with a modified airframe and updated aerodynamic details.
The 737 MAX-8 is one of four variants, and the first to make a commercial debut, in May of this year for Malaysia’s Malindo Air.
Boeing notes that the 737 MAX is its fastest selling aircraft ever, drawing over 3,900 orders from 92 customers worldwide since it was unveiled in 2011.
Over 100 Chinese carriers have placed orders for the 737 MAX, and Boeing is developing a plant to “outfit” 737 aircraft built in Renton, Wash., installing interior fixtures and painting on the “liveries” of the carriers that will operate the aircraft. That operation in Zhoushan, about 100 miles south of Shanghai, is being developed jointly with Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd., to start up next year.
"Air China has been a longstanding valued customer for decades," stated Rick Anderson, vice president of Sales, Northeast Asia. "This delivery marks another significant milestone in our enduring partnership. We are confident that the 737 MAX 8 will play a key role in Air China's continued growth."
Air China’s current fleet includes seven 747-8s, 26 777-300ERs, 11 787-9 Dreamliners, and over 140 Next-Generation 737s.