Boeing and COMAC have named the Chinese coastal city of Zhoushan as the intended site of a jointly-developed completion center for 737s for onward delivery to Chinese operators.


The offshore completion site is the first of its kind for any Boeing commercial airplane and, following acceptance of green airframes from Seattle, will be responsible for fitting interior cabin furnishings, painting and final handover to airlines.


Development of the Chinese completion center, plans for which were first revealed by Aviation Week in September 2015, forms part of a broader strategic move by Boeing which has preferred to keep final assembly within the U.S. rather than adopt the Airbus model of opening production lines in key overseas markets. Boeing maintains a delivery and completion site will generate significantly greater local value to Chinese industry than the Airbus A320 final assembly line in Tianjin, which opened in 2009.


The Zhoushan site extends Boeings already extensive existing relationship with Chinas aerospace industry which currently makes the horizontal stabilizers, vertical fins, aft tail section, doors, wing panels and other components of the present 737 model. Chinese manufacturers also supply parts for the 747-8, as well as the rudder, fairings, leading edge vertical fin panels and other composite parts for the 787. In addition the Chinese city of Xiamen is the first conversion location for the 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter program.


No details have been released about the proposed timing of the Zhoushan facility which will be based within an aviation industrial park on the island city.


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