Boeing’s disaster could turn China into an aviation superpower

SHANGHAI, China - Boeing’s mishandling of the MAX-8 crisis could well end up giving the Chinese a chance to do something that no other nation has successfully achieved: break the global duopoly in commercial airplanes of Boeing and Airbus. Boeing is desperately trying to limit the damage to its reputation caused by two catastrophic MAX-8 crashes in five months. As it turns out, the greatest long-term harm to the company’s business is likely to be in China, reports Clive Irving for The Daily Beast.

Apr 15th, 2019
Boeing’s disaster could turn China into an aviation superpower
Boeing’s disaster could turn China into an aviation superpower
SHANGHAI, China - Boeing’s mishandling of the MAX-8 crisis could well end up giving the Chinese a chance to do something that no other nation has successfully achieved: break the global duopoly in commercial airplanes of Boeing and Airbus. Boeing is desperately trying to limit the damage to its reputation caused by two catastrophic MAX-8 crashes in five months. As it turns out, the greatest long-term harm to the company’s business is likely to be in China, reports Clive Irving for The Daily Beast.

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The Intelligent Aerospace take:

April 15, 2019-With more than a billion residents and a continually growing economy, China is poised to drive the economic engine of avation in the coming decades. It is estimated that the Asian nation will need around 9,000 new commercial aircraft in the next 20 years to meet demand. Last month, China ordered 300 new jets from Airbus for $35 billion. The European manufacturer has enjoyed a relative duopoly with American powerhouse Boeing for orders with world carriers.

Now, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) is building an Airbus A320 clone dubbed the C919. COMAC partnered the UTC Aerospace Systems, Collins Aerospace, Honeywell, and the French technology company Thales. The engines also come from the French-American alliance of Safran and General Electric. The C919 follows the Airbus assembly model of having the major areas like fuselage, wings, engines, and landing gear built and delivered with the internal cabin fittings taken care of by COMAC.

Irving noted that COMAC has found success with the C919 and are "moving on" by "developing a larger widebody jet to compete with the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 to be ready by 2025, this time partnering with the Russians." The writer, who penned Wide-Body: The Triumph of the 747, concludes that there "will no doubt be setbacks on the way, but the Boeing-Airbus duopoly will for sure eventually lose its dominance of the skies."

Related: China aims to nearly double its number of civil airports by 2035

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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