Bridging the gap

Today, the 787 proved once again how it’s bridging the gap between cities that were never connected before. I had the pleasure of being on hand as Xiamen Airlines launched new nonstop service between high-tech center Shenzhen, China and Seattle using the Dreamliner. This is also the first direct international service between Shenzhen and the U.S.

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A Xiamen 787 arrives at Sea-Tac International Airport, launching service from Shenzhen to Seattle.

Almost two years ago to the day, I had the honor of being on board Xiamen’s very first 787 revenue flight from Fuzhou to Beijing. Xiamen is a loyal Boeing customer and operates the largest all-Boeing fleet in China.

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Today’s arrival was followed by a ceremony with officials from the airline, Sea-Tac Airport and the Port of Seattle.

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I gave today’s toast celebrating the launch of new nonstop service on the 787 from Shenzhen to Seattle.

To complete the build out of a network that extends beyond Seattle, the airline has signed a partnership agreement with Alaska Airlines that allows passengers traveling to Seattle via Xiamen Airlines, to fly onward to 61 major and secondary destinations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Congratulations to our friends at Xiamen and thanks for showing the power of the 787.

Ready for real life

Starting September 22, the 737 MAX enters a portion of flight testing that will really put the airplane through its paces.

It’s called SROV - which stands for Service Ready Operational Validation. With the help of launch customer Southwest Airlines, we’ll take the MAX to several of the airports in Southwest’s system to simulate the kind of real life things the airplane will encounter on any given day of revenue service.

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The 4th 737 MAX flying near Mt. Rainier.

Using MAX test airplane #4 over a six day period, pilots from Southwest and Boeing will fly routes from Love Field in Dallas to cities including Albuquerque, Denver, Chicago, Austin and Phoenix. Southwest’s maintenance and ground crews at each airport will get hands-on experience, doing everything from towing and fueling the airplane, to conducting fit checks of ground support equipment and performing maintenance.

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MAX #4 at the Farnborough Airshow.

You may remember that we performed SROV activities with the 787 a few years ago, taking the Dreamliner to Japan for similar exercises with ANA. You can get a better idea of exactly what goes on during SROV in this video from 2011.

As I said earlier, SROV is part of flight testing—which in itself is always dynamic. Flight plans filed each day may change for a variety of reasons— from weather, to the simple fact that we decide to run more simulations at a certain airport.

Our goal is to show the MAX is ready to enter service next year as we start delivering the airplane to our customers. And for that—we couldn’t be more excited.

Countdown to 500

The 500th 787 is starting to take shape. The mid and aftbody sections for the milestone airplane were shipped from Boeing South Carolina to our Everett factory last week. The airplane begins final assembly tomorrow. Congratulations to the entire 787 team, and I look forward to seeing this airplane roll out very soon.

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The 500th 787 midbody section is loaded onto a Dreamlifter for transport from Boeing South Carolina to Everett for final assembly. Josh Drake photo.

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The 500th 787 aftbody section. Josh Drake photo.

Trillion dollar market

Greetings from Beijing, where I just unveiled the new Current Market Outlook for China— our 20 year forecast for new airplane demand.

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Media turned out in Beijing today to hear what’s in store for China’s aviation market.

The big headline: China is now the first trillion dollar aviation market in our global forecast, needing more than 6,800 new airplanes over the next two decades.

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737s bound for Chinese customers on the flightline at Boeing Field.

So what are some of the things driving this demand, and why is Boeing so high on the future of this market? I explore that in my latest podcast. Click below to listen.

Pandas on a plane

Our airline customers have come up with some clever liveries over the years. But now, you have the chance to design a livery of your own.

In a contest sponsored by Hainan Airlines, you can log on to design a livery featuring the characters from the Kung Fu Panda movie franchise. The grand prize winner receives a free trip to China— and the winning livery will be painted on one of the airline’s 787-9 Dreamliners. I’m no artist, but you can see my handywork below.

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The contest, which runs through Sept. 30, is open to residents of the United States and Canada. Click here to get started using a design tool developed by Boeing.

Hainan Airlines, based in Haikou, China, is growing its presence in North America, where it serves a number of markets including Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Calgary and Toronto.

 

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