ZHOUSHAN, China — Construction started Thursday on the Boeing Co.’s first overseas plant.
The facility, located in Zhoushan, China, is a critical piece of Boeing’s strategy for expanding its presence in the fast-growing Chinese civil aviation market. The plant will install interiors, paint and deliver 737 airplanes to customers in the country.
Interiors installation and painting will be done as a joint venture between Boeing and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC). The delivery center is owned by Boeing, according to the airplane maker.
COMAC is developing its own competitor to Boeing’s single-aisle 737. COMAC’s C919 had a successful maiden flight in early May.
Boeing announced plans to expand to Zhoushan, which is in the Zhejiang Province of southeastern China, in September 2015.
The center will “enhance Boeing’s market access to the world’s largest airplane market,” the company said.
Boeing’s rival, the Airbus Group, opened an A320 final assembly line in Tianjin, China, in 2008 and started construction in 2016 on an A330 delivery center in China.