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CHINA RECEIVES 100TH BOEING JETLINER: XIAMEN AIRLINES 757

 CHINA RECEIVES 100TH BOEING JETLINER: XIAMEN AIRLINES 757
 SEATTLE, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- When President Richard Nixon


touched down in Beijing aboard a Boeing 707 on Feb. 21, 1972, it was more than the start of a new relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group said today. It was the opening of a new era of trade relations, one that has buoyed air travel in China and greatly benefited Seattle-based Boeing.
 The same year President Nixon arrived on Air Force One, China ordered 10 Boeing 707s. Today, some 20 years later, China received its 100th Boeing jetliner. An additional 59 airplanes are on firm order from Boeing and various leasing companies. The value of these 159 planes in 1992 dollars is nearly $9 billion -- enough to fund Boeing's current facilities expansion and entire payroll (1991 salaries for 159,100 employees) for a year.
 The 100th Boeing jet delivered today is a Rolls-Royce powered 757 for Xiamen Airlines. In honor of the occasion, and as a symbol of good luck, members of Seattle's Chinese community conducted a traditional lion dance at the base of the airplane.
 "No one could have foreseen the rapid growth of China's economy and of our airline industry," remarked Hu Yizhou, senior advisor and former director general of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), forerunner to China's newly regionalized air carriers. "The good relations between CAAC and Boeing have not only helped U.S.-China trade relations and the exchange of technology in the field of civil aviation, but, as a result, many people have come from all over the world to visit China."
 As China's economic reforms continue, the country will likely need more airplanes. "I see the trend continuing indefinitely," said Hu, the man most responsible for purchasing China's jets from Boeing.
 Xiamen Airlines typifies China's burgeoning growth in air travel. Formed in 1984 as China's first joint venture between CAAC and a municipal government, the airline inaugurated service from the coastal city of Xiamen (pronounced "Shah-men") to Beijing on January 5, 1985. Xiamen has since grown to become an all-Boeing airline with a fleet of four 737-200s carrying 700,000 passengers annually to 20 destinations in China plus Manila and Hong Kong. The carrier also provides charter service to Singapore.
 For additional capacity, the airline five months ago signed a contract with Norway's Braathens Safe Aviation Corp. to lease four 737-500s beginning next month. Today's delivery is one of three 204-passenger 757s the airline is purchasing directly from Boeing.
 This year Boeing will deliver no fewer than 24 airplanes to China, representing every model Boeing has in production, from the 737 twinjet to the latest 747-400 jumbo.
 "We are pleased that China recognizes the advantage of common flight decks and pilot ratings among our aircraft types and of engine commonality between our widebodies," said Dean Thornton, president, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. "These strategic advantages and Boeing's hallmark service to the customer are why today's leading airlines say they prefer Boeing for their fleet modernization."
 China's dozen-plus airlines carried about 22 million passengers last year, an enviable traffic gain of 31 percent from 1990, CAAC reported. Airlines based in China added 47 new routes -- 38 domestic and nine international -- in 1991, ending the year with a total of 452 routes. CAAC is forecasting an increase of 10.3 percent in passenger boardings to about 24 million this year.
 Of China's 61 civilian airports, 48 are equipped with instrument landing systems, and 19 are undergoing major expansion. In 1991, CAAC invested $130 million on infrastructure, including new runways, better lounge facilities and computer systems. Many of the airport upgrades are along China's coastal cities and nearby Special Economic Zones (SECs), of which Xiamen is among the fastest-growing.
 This month, CAAC Director General Jiang Zhuping said airlines and businesses outside of China soon will be able to purchase stock in China's airlines. The purpose of the new investment scheme is to "set a fresh pace for the country's accelerated drive of opening up its economic sectors to foreign investment and cooperation," according to a report in the China Daily.
 -0- 8/11/92
 /CONTACT: David Jensen of Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, 206-237-8051
 (BA) CO: Boeing Commercial Airplane Group; Xiamen Airlines ST: Washington IN: AIR SU:


JH -- SE013 -- 9182 08/11/92 19:08 EDT
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Date:Aug 11, 1992
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