China Southern launched its first route to the U.S. when it began Guangzhou-LAX service in 1997. “For a decade we’ve been analyzing the viability of launching new routes to New York,” Si said. “(But) before we took a 777-300 ER we did not have the right aircraft to serve New York routes. China Southern purchased the aircraft for this new service.”
A Rand Corporation report, issued in April, said China should get out of the aircraft manufacturing business, where it is hopelessly behind Airbus and Boeing and losing ground.
Commercial aviation manufacturing is a huge waste of money for China," said Keith Crane, director of the Rand Environment, Energy and Economic Development program and co-author of the report "The Effectiveness of China's Industrial Policies in Commercial Aviation Manufacturing."
China has spent more than $7 billion to develop the C919. The problem is that "by the time it gets out there in the market, it will be a full generation behind the Boeing 737MAX and the Airbus A320neo," Crane said in an April interview.
Boeing projects that Chinese carriers will take delivery of 5,580 new planes in the next two decades, with about 70% in the narrowbody segment led by the Boeing 737 and the A320.
Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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