Aftermarket Enjoys Busy Week At Zhuhai

Among the deals at Zhuhai was Meggitt and China Southern entering an agreement for spares support and AOG services for CFM LEAP-1C components on the COMAC C919.
Credit: Meggitt

At the recent Zhuhai Air Show, manufacturers again expressed confidence in the Chinese market with buoyant outlooks for passenger and fleet growth.

Boeing predicts demand for 8,700 new aircraft for Chinese airlines over the next 20 years, while Chinese manufacturer COMAC expects the country’s commercial fleet to number almost 10,000 aircraft by 2040—almost a quarter of the global fleet by that time.

That’s good news for the aftermarket, which also saw a string of contracts signed during the air show.

These included an engine overhaul deal covering eight CFM56-5B engines between General Electric and local lessor Aerdragon Aviation Leasing, which signed up to GE’s TrueChoice product.

There was also a three-year deal between Meggitt and China Southern, covering spares support and AOG services for CFM LEAP-1C components on the COMAC C919, the new Chinese narrowbody which will debut with the Chinese major.

Meanhwile, in response to a surging cargo market Boeing and Gameco will cooperate to add two Boeing 767-300 freighter conversion lines at the latter’s Guangzhou facility. These are set to open in 2022 and will complement the sites existing 737-800 conversion capabilities.

In other good news for Boeing, which suffered considerably from U.S.-China trade tensions during the Trump presidency, it was reported that the Boeing 737 MAX had successfully completed a test flight during its march towards recertification in China.

“The rapid recovery of Chinese domestic traffic during the pandemic speaks to the market’s underlying strength and resilience,” said Richard Wynne, managing director, China marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“In addition, there are promising opportunities to significantly expand international long-haul routes and air freight capacity. Longer term, there is the potential for low-cost carrier growth to further build on single-aisle demand.”

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.