Xiamen Air (Xiamen Airlines) (Xiamen) has reached a significant milestone. On November 12 in Seattle, Boeing delivered a brand new 737-800 airplane to Xiamen Airlines, a SkyTeam member. It is the 100th plane in the airline’s all-Boeing fleet. Boeing 737-85C B-5688 (msn 41792) was handed over at the special event (pictured).
Xiamen Airlines commenced service in 1985 with two Boeing 737-200s serving three cities. The carrier is now China’s sixth-largest, serving 218 domestic routes as well as 26 international and regional routes. With delivery of the Boeing 737-800, Xiamen Airlines’ fleet now consists of 100 aircraft. It is China’s only all-Boeing fleet and one of the world’s youngest, with an average age of 5.08 years.
Over the next two years, Xiamen Airlines plans to add 30 more Boeing 737-800s and six more Boeing 787s, expanding its fleet to 136 airplanes, and to expand globally by gradually forming a route network that radiates across the Asia Pacific region and connects with Europe and the U.S.
Xiamen Airlines’ expects to keep growing of its Boeing fleet beyond 2016. The carrier has just signed Letters of Request to buy 70 Boeing 737NGs and Boeing 737MAXs. By 2020, the fleet will grow to more than 200 airplanes.
Xiamen Airlines’ rapid growth is a testament to the tremendous growth of China’s airline business. In 1972, China established the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) as the only player in aviation, with only nine registered aircraft in the fleet. At the end of 2012, China had more than 40 airlines, with an industry-wide fleet exceeding 2,000 aircraft.
Boeing projects investments of nearly $800 billion in China for the purchase of 5,580 new commercial aircraft during the next 20 years. It would account for 16% of global demand, and reflects an average requirement of nearly 200 single-aisle and over 60 wide-body aircraft each year.
Top Copyright Photo: Boeing.
Bottom Copyright Photos: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. B-5688 passes through Honolulu on the long delivery flight.
Second Photo: A close-up of the special markings.