Third quarter highlights

Boeing reported third quarter earnings today, with several highlights from Commercial Airplanes taking center stage. We booked 107 net orders during the quarter. Our backlog remains strong with more than 5,600 airplanes valued at $409 billion. Delivery guidance for the year was increased 5 airplanes to between 745 and 750 deliveries.

Here’s a look at some of our key accomplishments:


  • 737 MAX completes Service Ready Operational Validation with launch customer Southwest Airlines, flying test airplane No. 4 to simulate real-world operations.

The 737 MAX is towed to the Southwest Airlines hangar at Love Field in Dallas as part of Service Ready Operational Validation testing.

  • 737 MAX 9 production begins as the first wing spar is loaded.
  • 737 MAX completes community noise testing in Glasgow, Mont., to validate that the airplane is 40 percent quieter than today’s Next-Generation 737.

Looking up at the 737 MAX as it takes to the skies over the great expanse of Glasgow, Montana for community noise testing. Beneath the wings, new engines feature the latest Boeing designed nacelle, all part of decreasing noise levels of the airplane. Leo Dijillas photo.

  • Design improvements announced for the MAX 7 to provide more seats, greater fuel efficiency and increased range.


  • U.S. Air Force issues a contract for the second phase of risk-reduction activities for the Presidential Aircraft Recapitalization program for the 747-8.
  • Boeing and Volga-Dnepr Group finalize terms for the acquisition of 20 747-8 Freighters, including four airplanes that have already been delivered.
  • U.S. Air Force approves low-rate initial production of the KC-46A tanker.


  • Touch screens are introduced in the 777X forward displays, a first in commercial aviation.
  • Boeing announces it has produced the world’s largest solid 3-D printed item, a 777X wing trim and drill tool, in a record confirmed by Guinness World Records.

At 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall, the 3D printed structure is comparable in length to a large sport utility vehicle and weighs about 1,650 pounds.

  • Boeing continues to invest in today’s 777, delivering the first airplane with the 2 percent performance improvement package.


  • Boeing marks the fifth anniversary of the first delivery of the 787 on Sept. 26, 2011, to launch customer ANA.
  • ANA, Boeing’s largest 787 customer, receives its 50th Dreamliner.

ANA’s 50th 787. Tim Stake photo.

  • Boeing South Carolina ships the aftbody and midbody sections of the 500th 787 Dreamliner to Everett where it enters final assembly.
  • The first 787-10 midbody sections arrived at Boeing South Carolina.

Good week for widebodies

It was a very good week for Boeing widebody sales. We received an order from Qatar Airways for 30 787-9s and 10 777-300ERs, and an order from China Southern Airlines for 12 787-9s.


The 50th 777-300ER for Qatar Airways.

Qatar is building on its existing fleet of 84 Boeing airplanes, a combination of 787s and 777s, all delivered over the past nine years. With this new order, Qatar Airways increases its firm order backlog of Boeing twin-aisle airplanes from 65 to 105, including 60 777Xs. The airline also signed a letter of intent for up to 60 737 MAX 8s. Those airplanes would be the first Boeing single-aisle commercial model to join Qatar Airways’ fleet in more than 15 years.

China Southern currently has 10 787-8s in service. The airline has opened six new nonstop global routes using 787s, connecting Guangzhou to London, Rome, Vancouver, Perth, Auckland, and Christchurch.


A 787-9 in China Southern livery.

We thank both of our customers for their confidence in our products.

End of third quarter

As the third quarter of the year came to an end, here’s where things stand on the orders and deliveries front year-to-date.


Boeing: 563

Airbus: 462

Net Orders

Boeing: 380

Airbus: 380

It’s interesting to note that Airbus finally took 82 orders from defunct Kingfisher Airlines off its books last month.

Some September highlights for Boeing included 25 net orders and 72 deliveries— and the 787 program celebrating its 5th anniversary since first delivery.


As always, the final quarter of the year is a very busy time in our factories in Everett, Renton and North Charleston. We remain committed to getting airplanes into the hands of our customers as quickly as possible.

There's a kind of hush...

When the 737 MAX flew over the open fields of Glasgow, Montana last month, Boeing engineers and technicians were all ears. They were listening to and recording every decibel of sound through microphones to certify that the MAX meets federal and international noise regulations.

The airplane is designed to be 40 percent quieter than today’s 737NG. See and hear for yourself in the video below.

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.


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.


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


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.


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