The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) signed a $10 million contract with the city of Shantou in Guangdong Province on Thursday to build a training center where Israeli teams will teach the Chinese to maintain passenger aircraft.
The contract was signed as part of a conference for business cooperation between Israel and the Guangdong Province.
The company also signed an agreement with Gwangju Port in the province to build a robot that would increase the efficiency of container storage.
"This is an important breakthrough in light of the accelerated development of China's civil aviation," said Gadi Cohen, vice president and director of civil society at IAI.
The IAI has been providing maintenance services for airlines for years, and the company intends to continue expanding its civilian operations in China, which in the coming years is expected to become the largest aviation market in the world, requiring the training of thousands of technical personnel for the growing domestic fleet.
Boeing estimated last year that in the next 20 years, the Chinese market would need about 7,000 new passenger planes, which are estimated to cost more than a trillion dollars. Air traffic in the country is expected to grow by about six percent in light of the rising standard of living and the fact more Chinese citizens taking vacations abroad.
A few weeks ago, a first modern Chinese passenger plane, the narrow-bodied C919 that competed with the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320, took off for its maiden voyage. It is based on American and European technologies and is expected to enter into serial production in about two years.
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)