Halfway there

The numbers for the first half of 2015 are in today. And one of the stats is a new record.

We delivered 197 airplanes in the second quarter of this year. That’s two more airplanes than our previous quarterly record set in the fourth quarter of last year.

In total, we’ve delivered 381 airplanes through the end of June. That’s 39 more than the same time last year.

On the orders side, we booked 5 new orders for the 787 in the past week—bringing our net order total for the year to 281.

As we turn our focus to the remainder of the year, here’s a look back at my favorite images from the first six months. We’re halfway there!

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January: Manaus Airport in Brazil becomes the 100th airport Cargolux operates to with the 747-8 Freighter.

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February: The 100th 777 Freighter is delivered to China Southern.

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February: This aerial photo shows construction of the 777X Composite Wing Center in Everett.

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March: Employees build 10 consecutive 747-8 Intercontinentals, the first time that’s ever happened in the Everett factory.

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March: The ecoDemonstrator 757 kicks off a new round of testing with three significant environmental technologies.

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March: The first 787-9 delivered from Boeing South Carolina, for United Airlines, is pictured here outside our North Charleston delivery center. This airplane is also the 250th 787 to be delivered.

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March: Cargolux took delivery of their 30th 747 with a special decal saluting the Father of the 747—Joe Sutter.

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April: Employees of American Airlines celebrate their 787 fleet.

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April: United’s newest 737-900ER marks its 10 year anniversary of supporting the March of Dimes. Jim Anderson photo.

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May: Flyaway of the 100th 767 Freighter, this one for FedEx.

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May: Assembly begins on the very first 737 MAX.

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May: The women of United Airlines and Boeing celebrate an all-female delivery.

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June: The 787-9 for Vietnam Airlines wows the crowd at the Paris Air Show.

Innovation honor

The 787-8 Dreamliner is now part of some very distinguished company. Mike Sinnett, our VP of Product Development and former 787 chief project engineer, along with the 787-8 development team received the 2015 Elmer A. Sperry Award.

The award recognizes a distinguished engineering contribution that has advanced transportation and stimulated innovation.

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The 787-8, seen here during its first flight, is the winner of this year’s Sperry Award.

The team was recognized for their “pioneering engineering advances including lightweight composite wings and monolithic composite fuselage construction and advanced systems that have led to significant improvements in fuel efficiency, reduced carbon emission, reduced maintenance costs and increased passenger comfort.”

This is the third Sperry Award given to employees of Boeing—the most ever for a single company. In 1965, a Boeing team received the honor for developing the 707, 720 and 727. And the 1980 Award went to Joe Sutter’s 747 team.

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Mike Sinnett (left) accepts this year’s Sperry Award.

We’re proud the 787-8 team is continuing the legacy of innovation that Boeing is known for—and we thank the Sperry Award committee for their recognition.

The great divide

A lot of us were surprised when Airbus unveiled its version of the long range market forecast during the Paris Air Show. They typically hold that for later in the year, and what they shared at Le Bourget was clearly lacking in detail.

The one thing that was clear - the great divide between our forecast and Airbus’ when it comes to the very large airplane segment.

Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecasts the need for 540 new airplanes like the 747-8 and the A380. Our new Current Market Outlook reflects a continued shift from very large airplanes to twin-engine airplanes like the 787, 777X and A350.

But Airbus actually raised its very large airplane forecast by almost 50 units from last year, saying it expects a demand for 1,550 of these big airplanes. They make this prediction despite the fact that the A380 hasn’t received a single order all year.

On a side note, we also believe Airbus is forecasting too low on the single-aisle side. Take their forecast of 22,927 airplanes. That equals combined production rates of 95 per month over the next 20 years. Even if the market was split equally between Boeing and Airbus, which is unlikely since there are other single aisle competitors coming into the market, a production rate of about 48 per month wouldn’t match up to the higher production rates they’re talking about.

When Airbus launched the A380 in 2000, it predicted the demand for 1,235 very large passenger airplanes alone through the year 2019. Fast forward to today— and the total number of passenger VLA’s actually ordered is only 371. You do the math.

We use our forecast as a key part of our production rate decisions. This week, we announced that we’re lowering our 747-8 production rate again—this time to 1 airplane per month starting next March. While the very large airplane market continues to be challenging, we’re optimistic this adjustment and some good news on the cargo front will allow us to keep the program healthy.

With four firm 747-8 orders so far this year— and an MOU from Volga-Dnepr for 20 additional 747-8 Freighters — things are looking up.

In our view, the market for big airplanes is small—but viable. However, every trend and signal points to airlines moving toward small and medium widebodies as travelers demand more frequent point to point routes.

Final flight

The very first 787 ever built has taken its final flight. ZA001 landed in Nagoya, Japan at Centrair Airport. The airplane will stay here on permanent display.

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ZA001 lands in Nagoya.

The Nagoya area is home to many 787 suppliers, and we’re proud to donate the airplane to Centrair.

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A water cannon salute at Centrair Airport.

From its first flight to its final flight, ZA001 served us well. Thanks for the memories— and here’s to creating many more.

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Boeing pilots are greeted after ZA001 arrives in Japan.

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That's a wrap

Now that the 2015 Paris Air Show is in the books, I wanted to share some of my takeaways from the week.

First and foremost, I’ll always remember the excitement over the 787-9 flying display.

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The 787-9 in the flying display at the Paris Air Shows. Steve Eastell photos.

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The YouTube video of its rehearsal flight that went viral raised the anticipation at Le Bourget— and the airplane didn’t disappoint. Thanks to Vietnam Airlines for allowing us to showcase just what the 787 can do, while wowing the crowd in the process.

The 777-300ER for China Airlines was also a big hit. We were proud to help unveil the airline’s award-winning interior to the crowds at Le Bourget.

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It was hard to miss the China Airlines 777-300ER on static display. Marian Lockhart photo.

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On board the China Airlines 777-300ER with Jerry Verghese, our director of Brand Management and Advertising.

I also want to thank all of our customers who made announcements over the course of the week. We ended up with orders and commitments for 331 airplanes valued at $50.2 billion at list prices.

Of course, this is just one week out of 52. We still have a lot of things to accomplish the rest of the year. We’re still on track to deliver between 750 and 755 airplanes. That’s not only a Boeing record—it’s an industry record.

The first 737 MAX will roll out of the factory by the end of this year. And the 777X remains on schedule to reach firm configuration this year.

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A view of Le Bourget from the China Airlines 777-300ER. Marian Lockhart photo.

Thanks for following along this week as we say goodbye to Paris.

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