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Boeing jets to be fitted with GE engines (11/13/03)

   General Electric Co confirmed it will supply engines for 30 Boeing 737 planes as part of a multibillion-dollar deal with several Chinese airlines.

    GE Aircraft Engines will supply the engines, worth about US$300 million, through its CFM joint venture with French engine maker Snecma.

    The US company will split the revenue with its 50-50 joint venture partner, said GE Aircraft Engines spokesman Rick Kennedy, according to reports by Dow Jones Newswires.

    The transaction was slated to be formally announced yesterday in Washington, DC, Kennedy said.

    The Boeing planes are to be sold to several Chinese airlines, said a person familiar with the situation.

    Boeing officials declined comment, but Air China executives have confirmed it would receive some of the aircraft, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    Other airlines receiving planes are Shandong Airlines Co, Xiamen Airlines Co, Hainan Airlines Co and Shenzhen Airlines Co, according to a Bloomberg report.

    The deal, rumored for weeks, comes as US officials have placed increasing pressure on the Chinese government to ease a trade surplus with the United States that hit US$103 billion last year.

    As of November 5, and not including the Chinese order, the world's No 1 aircraft maker has landed 174 orders in 2003, according to its Website.

    That's the lowest number of new orders for Boeing since 1994, when airlines placed orders for only 125 jets.

    The prices for the Boeing 737s range from US$41 million to US$68.5 million each, depending on the model, but carriers typically negotiate discounts with the company.

    Boeing is also awaiting approval of a deal for the US Air Force to lease and buy 100 converted 767 jets as air-refueling tankers.


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