Boeing is preparing to invest more than $100 million in a new MRO joint venture in Shanghai. The U.S. airframer will have a 50-percent stake, with the balance held by Shanghai Airlines and Shanghai Aviation Authority, according to David Wang, president of Boeing China.
Wang was speaking at the December 19 ceremony marking the redelivery to Cathay Pacific of the first 747-400 Boeing converted freighter completed by Taikoo (Xiamen) Aircraft Engineering Co. (TAECO). Opened in 1996 at Xiamen’s Gaoqi Airport, TAECO (Stand A708) was founded by Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co. (HAECO) and its fellow Swire Group company Cathay Pacific Airlines, with investments from Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines and the local Xiamen Aviation Industry Co. Boeing took a 9.09-percent stake in the company in 1997; ownership currently is shared by HAECO (54.55 percent), Xiamen AIC (10 percent), Cathay Pacific (9.09 percent), JAL (9.09 percent) and a subsidiary of the General Administration of Civil Aviation in China (CAAC), Beijing Kailan Aviation Technology Development and Service Co. (8.18 percent).
December saw the opening of TAECO’s fourth hangar. Each of the first three can accommodate two 747-400s plus one narrowbody aircraft; the latest has two bays specifically for 747-400 cargo conversions. Certification flight testing of the first converted airplane was carried out in Hong Kong, making it the first major Boeing flight test program to be completed outside the U.S.