August 31, 2005

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United's Chinese Engineers

In light of all of the various food, vegetable and dairy horror stories daily assailing Hong Kong from the mainland, it will come as some surprise to local residents that standards of any kind exist in China. But in a vast country like China, even amidst poor standards for a host of products, China's semiconductor foundries and now an aircraft maintenance firm are demonstrating that it can handle the pressures of high precision and reliability.

At least, that is the faith United Airlines is showing in Ameco Beijing: a story on CNN has United sending all 52 of their 777 aircraft to Beijing for repairs and maintenance for the next five years. Let us not misrepresent Ameco - it is a joint venture between Air China and Lufthansa German Airlines, and many of China's joint ventures have worked wonders (I even tried an excellent red wine from the Chengyu vineyard the other day - miracles never cease). Ameco does have a strong track record, and the number of fatal air accidents among major Chinese airlines over the last decade has been a lot better than say, a certain other airline on the other side of the Taiwan Strait. But the move will no doubt raise eyebrows on both sides of the Pacific, and make some nervy Hong Kong residents that much more jittery as the board their United flight at some Siberian location in the Hong Kong International Airport (Gate 69, ring bells for anyone?)

posted by HK Dave on 08.31.05 at 12:52 AM in the


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