Congestion at China’s three major international airports–Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong and Guangzhou Baiyun–has quashed Xiamen Airlines’ plans to offer long-haul nonstop flights from the People’s Republic using Boeing 787s starting next August. Increasing demand for slots from foreign airlines and China’s four big carriers to operate point-to-point services from the three big airports leaves smaller carriers such as Xiamen no choice but to look at other Chinese cities as ports of entry into China.
China’s Xiamen Airlines has signed a letter of intent with GE Aviation for GEnx-1B engines to power its six Boeing 787s, along with a 10-year service agreement for the airline’s GEnx-powered fleet. The list price of the order and service agreement is valued at more than $560 million. Delivery of the aircraft is to begin incrementally starting in July 2014.
A dozen Chinese airlines hired nearly 100 U.S. pilots at the Pan Am International Flight Academy’s All China Job Fair, held in Miami on February 23 and 24 and Las Vegas on February 26.
Xi’an Aircraft Industries delivered the first sets of ARJ21-700 wings and main fuselage sections for final assembly to Shanghai Aircraft Company early last month, heralding the start of final assembly of the 90-seat jet design’s first prototype. The milestone deliveries nearly coincided with the opening of an office by the FAA in Shanghai to support Chinese authorities’ efforts to meet international certification standards.
China’s long-planned ARJ21 regional jet, which was supposed to enter commercial service in 2008, is now certain to be delayed by at least one year.