CHICAGO, June 1 (UPI) -- Boeing Co. said the delivery of the first Dreamliner Saturday to China Southern Airlines indicates a "strengthening partnership between Boeing and China.
"Today's 787 delivery represents a significant new milestone in the strengthening partnership between Boeing and China," said Ray Conner, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes in a statement.
"We thank the Chinese government agencies, China Southern and all our Chinese customers, and suppliers for their support and contributions to the success of the Dreamliner program," he said.
China Southern has 10 Dreamliner jets on order.
The jet has been called a "game-changer," in that it is a mid-sized plane that is able to fly long-haul routes in part due to its high-end fuel efficiency.
Several Chinese suppliers produce parts that go into the Dreamliner, including Chengfei, Hafei and Shenfei, which produce the 787 rudder, wing-to-body faring and the leading edge to the vertical fin, Boeing said.