Turkish delight

The folks attending the Airex Istanbul Airshow will get a big treat this week when one of Lufthansa’s 747-8 Intercontinentals lands at the show. It will be on static display through September 25.

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One of Lufthansa’s 747-8s will be on display at Airex in Istanbul.

The 747-8 was just one of the many topics when I spoke at ISTAT Europe in Istanbul earlier this week. While the market has definitely changed over the past couple of years, we still have incredible confidence in the airplane and how it fits into our overall product lineup.

While I was in Istanbul, I also hosted a market briefing on Turkey, which has a domestic marketplace of 80 million people who are rapidly becoming wealthy enough to travel via air. And airlines are ordering, with a strong backlog of over 300 airplanes on order.

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Istanbul itself is optimally located for international travel. And congestion issues are creating the need for a third airport in the city by the end of this decade.

It’s been a great trip—and I’ll leave you with a photo of a basket of some Turkish breakfast bread called simit.

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Looking at 52

This week, we surpassed 1,000 net orders for the year. That’s an impressive total with more than three months still left in 2014—especially considering that Ryanair’s commitment for 100 of our MAX 200 airplanes won’t roll onto the books until later this year.

We also booked 55 new MAX orders this past week, bringing our total MAX orders to date to 2,294.

When you look at all those numbers, along with our strong backlog, there’s no question our planned production rate increases make sense—especially on the single-aisle side.

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The 737 Delivery Center at Boeing Field is always a busy place. Marian Lockhart photo.

Earlier this week, Ray Conner said we’re considering a rate increase to 52 airplanes a month at our 737 factory in Renton— somewhere in the 2018 time frame. The 737 program just increased its monthly output to 42 airplanes after a disciplined rate-readiness process. And the groundwork is already being put in place to climb to 47 airplanes a month in 2017.

The fact that we’re even looking at the possibility of 52 per month reflects the appetite for airplanes like the 737 MAX and Next-Generation 737. That demand is incredibly strong in China. They are a huge driver—and will only keep growing.

We’re confident in both our plans to increase rate and in our supply chain’s ability to ramp up with us. It should be a fun ride.

Service with a smile

During my swing through China this past week, I got to experience something special. I had the honor of flying on Xiamen Airlines’ first 787 revenue flight.

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Here’s me boarding the first Xiamen 787 commercial flight.

The flight, from Fuzhou to Beijing, was full of excited passengers and crew. The flight was smooth, the service was outstanding and the airplane itself is beautiful.

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Service with a smile. The great crew on Xiamen’s 787.

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I was joined on board by Lucy Yi, dressed in white, our sales director for Xiamen.

Xiamen wasted no time in putting this airplane into service after taking delivery on August 29. The airline will use the 787 on long-haul routes from its Fujian province base to Europe, North America and Australia.

Thanks to everyone at Xiamen for their hospitality.

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The gamechanger

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said today felt like being a kid on Christmas morning. And we were more than happy to play Santa Claus with the launch of the 737 MAX 200.

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The 737 MAX 200 in Ryanair livery.

Sporting a Seattle Seahawks jersey and a leather bomber jacket that read “gamechanger,” O’Leary endorsed the newest member of the 737 MAX family with a commitment for 100 airplanes with first delivery in 2019. The airline also has options for 100 more.

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Michael O’Leary and Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner announce the launch of the 737 MAX 200 in New York City.

While the MAX 200 can accommodate up to 200 seats with 20 percent lower fuel use, Ryanair plans to operate the airplane with 197 seats. The airline will also make use of the Boeing Sky Interior and new slimline seats to offer more leg room than their existing 737-800 fleet.

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This is an airplane that Ryanair has been asking for—and we’re proud to finally be able to bring it to market. We are developing this airplane in response to the needs of the fast growing low-cost sector, which is forecasted to account for 35 percent of single-aisle capacity by 2033.

While the heart of the single-aisle market will remain at 160 seats, the 737 MAX will give Ryanair and other customers the flexibility they need to offer lower ticket prices and meet growing demand—while keeping fuel costs down.

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Michael will join the Boeing team out in Seattle tomorrow to meet with some of our employees and to take delivery of his latest 737-800 just out of the Renton factory. We trust he’ll remember to bring the Seahawks jersey along as well.

Thanks to Ryanair for once again keeping our team in Renton very busy. Enjoy the video below showing off what the airplane will look like.

The leader by all measures

A strong 2014 continues to get even stronger in the orders and deliveries race.

Through Sept. 2, Boeing booked 941 net orders. Airbus recorded 722 net orders through the end of August.

For those of you who keep track of gross orders, we’re also ahead 1,004 to 1,001.

On the deliveries side through the end of August, Boeing leads 461 to 389.

This race is far from over—and we’re more focused than ever to end the year on a high note.

Speaking of orders and deliveries, I’m currently in China where the demand for new airplanes continues to grow. I unveiled the Current Market Outlook for China today, and the numbers are impressive.

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I unveiled the Current Market Outlook for China during a press briefing in Beijing today.

Over the next 20 years, we project China will need 6,020 new commercial airplanes valued at $870 billion. That accounts for more than 16 percent of the total global demand in terms of both new deliveries and market value.

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One thing to keep a close eye on in China is the tough, long-haul international market. Chinese carriers are focused on new business models, adding new destinations and increasing their capacity.

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I snapped this photo of a Hainan 787 pushing back from the gate at Haikou Airport.

That means demand for higher efficiency airplanes, low operating costs, environmentally progressive technologies and a great passenger experience. Of course, we believe our current and future product lineup matches those needs perfectly.

I’ll leave you with a photo of another great meal in Beijing.

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Noodles in Beijing!

 

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