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Boeing, Airbus Winging It In China

Competing to win new orders in the promising Chinese aircraft market, Boeing Co. and Europe's Airbus Industrie consortium are giving the Chinese the opportunity to make wing parts. Boeing already has invited the Chinese to do this for its 717 model. Now talks have started between the Chinese and Airbus partner British Aerospace PLC. Boeing has a plane lead in China, thanks to an early start. It has delivered 226 aircraft out of 317 on order. So far, China has ordered 92 passenger jets from Airbus, of which 41 have been delivered. Back in Europe, the four Airbus partners -- France's Aerospatiale, Germany's Daimler-Benz Aerospace, British Aerospace, and Spain's Casa -- are still arguing about how to restructure into a business free of government controls. France, still reluctant to relinquish its political influence on the consortium, remains the stumbling block.

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