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Boeing's maintenance takes off
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Boeing Co will soon start its airline maintenance services in China, where the US plane maker estimates that the jet overhaul market will grow 10 percent annually.


Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services Co Ltd, Boeing's first maintenance repair & operation joint venture worldwide, is expected to get its airplane maintenance qualification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China early next month, according to Zhang Zhihang, the venture's senior sales manager.


Boeing teamed up with Shanghai Airport (Group) Co Ltd and Shanghai Airlines Co Ltd to set up the BSAS last October with an investment of about US$85 million. Boeing holds a 60-percent stake in the venture.


It has signed lease contracts with Shanghai Airlines for a hangar bay for its aircraft maintenance services while its own hangars are under construction.


"We are looking at all airlines in China as our potential customers," said Timothy B. Premselaar, chief executive officer of BSAS. "The growth is so big, it won't take long to have more than we can handle."


The first of Boeing Shanghai's hangars, due to be launched in April 2009, is already under construction at Pudong Airport and be able to handle two large-sized 747s or two 777s airplanes.


Phase Two will start being built at the end of this year and will be able to handle four 747s or four 777s airplanes together when completed in 2010.


The company has just completed its first MRO service for UBS Airlines and it is also working on cooperation study with Shenzhen Airline.


The market demand for airline MRO is expanding quickly in China as domestic carriers add flights to meet the demand for air transport.


Boeing earlier estimated China's fleet will likely quadruple to 4,460 airplanes in the next 20 years.


Boeing Shanghai also plans to attract other international airlines which are adding routes to China, said James G. Brunke, vice president of Boeing's Global MRO Services.


(Shanghai Daily October 18, 2007)



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