Freighter milestone

It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, we delivered the 100th 777 Freighter. The airplane went to China Southern.

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The 100th 777 Freighter was delivered to China Southern.

Earlier this month, we booked a new order for five 777 Freighters from Korean Air. As the world’s largest and most capable twin-engine freighter with the lowest trip cost of any large freighter, we’re excited to see more orders and more deliveries for this airplane that launched just under 10 years ago.

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The 777 Freighter is seen here during its first flight in July 2008.

We’re also excited that air cargo appears primed for growth after some slow years. We projecting that air cargo will grow at an annual rate of just under 5 percent for the next 20 years. And in the near-term, fuel savings and a stronger U.S. dollar equal good news for our customers.

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Our commitment to the cargo industry is unrivaled. With our lineup of freighters, we’re in the perfect position to meet market demand as things continue to improve. You can check out our complete lineup of freighters on our special webpage.

Building boom

One year ago today, we announced that our new 777X Composite Wing Center would be built on our Everett campus. The progress since then has been nothing short of amazing.

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

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This artist rendering shows what the completed wing center will look like.

Construction is in full force as we continue erecting steel for the building structure. In just a few months, we’ll start installing the first of three giant autoclaves in the 1.3-million square foot facility— a facility that will be roughly the size of 25 football fields.

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A rendering of the autoclaves inside the 777X Composite Wing Center.

The sounds of construction can also be heard at Boeing Field in Seattle as we near the completion of our expanded Seattle Delivery Center for 737s. When it’s finished, the facility will more than double the space we currently have- helping us support increased 737 deliveries. And this place will be very busy as we go from building 42 737s a month today, to 47 in 2017 and 52 in 2018.

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Construction of the expanded 737 Delivery Center in Seattle is nearing completion.

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Here’s what the finished 737 Delivery Center will look like.

And inside our 737 factory in Renton, preparations continue for final assembly of the first 737 MAX later this year.

It’s an exciting time as we continue to make investments now that will be a key part of our future success.

Shared success

The annual Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference in Lynnwood, Wash. continues to grow every year. Today, I once again had the pleasure of speaking with our supplier partners who’ve been just as busy as we have over the past year.

It’s very clear that Boeing won’t be successful if our supply chain partners aren’t successful. That’s because 65 percent of our costs come through the supply chain. As we continue to increase production rates, it’s crucial that our suppliers continue to invest in facilities, equipment, Lean manufacturing and innovation.

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We now procure a billion components and assemblies a year from about 1,500 production suppliers in 34 countries around the world. Last year we spent $43 billion with our supply chain partners. As we continue to grow our production, those numbers will only get bigger.

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As for any news coming out of today’s session, there was more talk and speculation about a 757 replacement. Some even suggested a re-engined 757. The fact is, there’s absolutely no business case to support that.

We’re very happy with our 737 and 787 product lineups. So we’re studying the space in between them. Customer feedback has led us to look at an airplane that is larger than today’s 737 and has greater range than the 757.

Of course, our main focus areas continue to executing on our production rate increases and our current airplane development programs. That’s more than enough to keep all of us busy for some time to come.

Launch plans

American Airlines rolled out plans today to launch 787 service both domestically and internationally. And we’re also getting our first look at their interior.

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American’s 787 is prepping for a May launch.

Domestic service kicks off in May between Dallas-Forth Worth and Chicago O’Hare. Then on June 2, American will deploy the 787 internationally between DFW and Beijing—followed by DFW to Buenos Aires on June 4. Other markets will be added as American receives more Dreamliner deliveries.

American has a two-class configuration, with 28 fully lie-flat Business Class seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration.

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Business Class.

The Main Cabin is outfitted with 48 Main Cabin Extra seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, offering customers up to six inches of additional legroom, and 150 Main Cabin seats also arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration.

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Main Cabin.

We’re excited that the 787 is a key part of American’s fleet renewal and look forward to seeing the airplane go into service. You can see more photos and details on American’s 787 webpage.

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Goldilocks effect

There was a great story in today’s edition of The Street highlighting some of the most innovative 787 routes being flown by our customers. It quotes aviation consultant George Hamlin as saying the airplane has a “Goldilocks effect” because it is “not too big and not too small — it is just right.”

I couldn’t agree more. In fact, the Dreamliner continues to open up more and more new markets. As of today, over 42 new non-stop markets are either now connected by the 787 or will be soon.

Here are just some of the more interesting city pairs:

Los Angeles - Melbourne (United Airlines, longest 787 route)

Denver-Narita (United Airlines)

Tokyo-San Jose (ANA)

Tokyo-Boston (JAL)

Toronto-Delhi (Air Canada)

Stockholm-Oakland (Norwegian)

Perhaps the one route that really surprised us all was London Heathrow to Austin, Texas flown by British Airways. I can honestly say that when we sat down to map out all the potential routes for the 787, London to Austin never even came to mind. Today, it is proving to be wildly successful.

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Almost 37 million passengers have now flown on the 787 across the globe. Many of them are traveling non-stop on routes that wouldn’t have been possible before the Dreamliner was born. And that’s exactly what this airplane was built for.

 

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