The long run

PARIS - Although I’m not a big fan of the group, I do remember that the Eagles had a hit single and album called “The Long Run.” And that’s the kind of phrase that comes to mind at air show time.

This coming week we’ll be reading about aircraft orders at the Paris Air Show. Some may even describe the week’s activities in terms of an “orders battle.” But not us at Boeing.

We have a saying: “One week out of 52.” And that’s what an air show is. With 429 firm orders booked already this year, we like where we stand in the marketplace, and we’re gratified that our customers continue to validate our products and services. And you can always see how we’re doing on the orders front right on our Website, which we update every Thursday.

Now if a customer wants to take the opportunity at the air show to announce the acquisition of new airplanes, then that’s when you might see announcements come out of Le Bourget. But we don’t save orders to score points in an artificial battle for the week. Other companies might have a different approach – and maybe that works for them.

But, a word to reporters and other observers this week: we don’t consider it a battle – because we ain’t fighting on air show ground. An air show should be seen as a celebration of flight. And that’s easy to do at a wonderfully historic venue like Le Bourget, and with all of the exhibits, display aircraft, and flight demonstrations. It’s also an opportunity for us to meet with our airline customers, our supplier/partners, and the journalists who cover our industry.

So keep in mind it’s just one week out of 52. We’ll stay focused on going the distance across those 52 weeks. And we’ll find out – in the long run.

Comments (4)

Saj (London, UK):

Great points Randy- and if nothing else, the Airshow will certainly create a buzz for those carriers who want to know how the 787 program is going- and will be a beacon to attract yet more customers.

While I'll also be attending the show, I equally look forward to the 787 being at Farnborough in 2008!

Mike (Sydney, NSW, Australia):

Good points Randy. We sometimes get carried away on "the battle" for orders. It's also gratifying to see you're taking the same approach as your Randy predecessor with your dignified rational approach to the market place as opposed to negatively commenting on opposition companies. Good luck with the show.

John Petersen (Los Angeles, California):

Curious to hear your comments on the Easy Jet proposal for a more enviromentally friendly short haul aircraft. And how that fits in with Boeings plans for the future of the 737 program.

Lumberton (Texas, USA):

Sorry, Randy. I can't buy this line when you allow your competitor to absolutely clean your clock at the world's largest commercial aviation event. If your party line, i.e., "we don't save orders for the air show", is indeed Boeing policy, then I would strongly suggest you consider re-evaluating it. You surrender to your opponent the public relations high ground. One can make excuses all day long how they did it, whether deep discounting, minimal deposits, guaranteeing market value, etc., but the fact remains that they DID it!

You will be reading news reports for weeks to come about "resurgent Airbus", etc., etc. Frankly, from my vantage point, you were humiliated. Not a very adept performance.

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We strongly disagree. But thanks for your thoughts.

- Randy Tinseth

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