According to Bloomberg News, China is reportedly considering the resumption of purchases of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft at the upcoming APEC summit, where the U.S. and Chinese presidents are set to meet this week. Sources familiar with the matter revealed that Chinese President Xi Jinping is not expected to make a formal order for the 737 Max, but may express commitments through a memorandum of understanding or letter of intent.
However, the terms of any potential agreement are still being discussed and may undergo changes or even fall apart before the heads of state meeting on Wednesday. Boeing has been waiting for over four years to resume deliveries of the 737 MAX to Chinese airlines, following the grounding of the aircraft after two fatal crashes.
The company has faced political and trade tensions between Beijing and Washington, resulting in a lack of new orders from Chinese carriers since 2017. In response, Boeing slightly increased its 20-year forecast for new plane deliveries to China in September, anticipating a doubling of the country’s fleet to nearly 9,600 jets.
Boeing predicts that China’s domestic aviation market will eventually become the world’s largest, driving a demand for 6,470 single-aisle planes like the Boeing 737 MAX family. While China’s aviation regulator has taken steps that Boeing sees as crucial for the resumption of deliveries, no progress has been made thus far.
Boeing has chosen not to comment on the Bloomberg report. The latest developments reflect the complex and evolving nature of the U.S.-China relationship and its impact on the aviation industry.
(Reporting by Gokul Pisharody in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue and Gerry Doyle)