Sleigh ride

It may not have involved a one-horse open sleigh, but 2009 was certainly quite a ride.

The ups and downs for Commercial Airplanes and our industry this past year are well-publicized. For me, personally, I’ve traveled through the hills and valleys not only along with you here in the blog, but also while circling the globe.

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Now you can put a bow on 2009 - the year ended on a high note with the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner.

In just the second half of this year my travels took me to Dubai for the air show, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam. I also journeyed to the Caribbean and South America.

Yes, I do travel a lot. One interesting observation is that in terms of miles, I did just about as much traveling this year as I did in 2008, but my travel costs were down about 30%. It tells you that the travel industry definitely struggled this year in terms of yields. Traffic was down for business travelers, and fares were significantly lower.

But those issues aside for the moment, as we end the year I’m recalling some great memories. A tango show in Buenos Aires, a rugby game in Wellington, the weekend market in Bangkok, and of course, all the food, such as Korean barbecue in Seoul, seafood in Sydney, and always seeking the best possible fish heads and chili dishes.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights:

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A pair of Qantas A380s, with Sydney visible in the distance. Notice the three boarding bridges. Two for the lower deck and one for the upper deck. I still haven’t had the opportunity to fly on the airplane.

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The Beehive building, part of the New Zealand Parliament complex.

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This dish was my chance to try what’s acclaimed as the best Peking Duck in Beijing, at the “Made in China” restaurant.

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And this was my fish head curry dish in Shenzhen.

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I encountered a giant Godzilla monster in Tokyo’s famed Ginza district.

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Turns out that Godzilla wasn’t such a giant after all.

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A rugby match in Wellington during the Air New Zealand Cup 2009.

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A moment along the waterfront in Trinidad.

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I was fortunate enough to end the year at the ultimate “VIP event” - the Dreamliner’s first flight.

As a finishing touch, I’ve gift wrapped for you a little walk around video I did in Dubai last month. It’s always fun to do these at the big air shows. Take a look.

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Click above to view my video from Dubai 2009.

I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did. For now, let’s look to a 2010 in which the economic recovery continues and airlines see increases in passenger and cargo traffic.

And so, although it’s been said many times, many ways, I wish you a happy holiday season and a great year ahead.

Comments (7)

Hernan Saldana (Lima - Peru):

Randy (now it is plain Randy instead of the previous Randy 2.0), congrats on an EXCELLENT YEAR for Boeing and the Dreamliner project!!

I have followed the development of the Dreamliner since its birth and I even timed one vacation in 2007 to be in Seattle at the time the Dreamliner entered in final assembly. Of course, I was disappointed by the delays in the project, but I also work in projects and I know that this stuff happens.

What is important now is that the Dreamliner is flying now and all its fans are desperately waiting for it to be in service so we can fly it.

I never miss one of your posts in this blog and I thank you and Boeing for this excellent tool to keep us all aviation junkies updated :-)

Happy holidays for you and all the Boeing team!

Jim Crocker (Toronto, Ontario):

Randy, I just want to pass along my appreciation for the great job you do on this blog.

Not only is it insightful and interesting, your passion for airplanes comes through in every post (it took me a few seconds to remember the A380 isn't a Boeing aircraft).

Congrats on making it through 2009. The 787 is a beautiful aircraft. All the best in 2010.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The 787 and the first flight has been the highlight of my year, I have followed the 787 all the way back to the development of the Sonic Cruiser and the first inception of the 787 when it was the 7E7 and took the shape of a narrower 777 with unique wings. I look forward to seeing the 787 in the larger scale testing process and delivery into service.

Overall it has been a good year but next year will be better.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you in the Boeing Team.

Thiagarajan (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia):


Randy Sir, Your views and thoughts in this blog has been much appreciated. Looking forward to 2010 with more excitement and with best aircrafts from Boeing.

Happy New Year 2010 to all of you from Boeing.

Emmanuel (France):

Randy, I also wanted to conclude this year by a warm THANK YOU for the great job you are doing on this blog!

In addition of always being interesting and instructive, your posts have also always been fair and honest either on Boeing successes, issues, or on the competition.
As said before, your views, thoughts and insights have been much appreciated.

Thanks again!
Happy New Year from Europe and all the best for you, the 787, the 747-8 and all the Boeing family!

darrell.r.smith@boeing.com (Everett, Washington):

Best hopes for a New Year - 2010 of progress.

Victor Warren (Fort Lauderdale):

I've been an aviation buff since a kid. I even got all my tickets to become a pilot and then 9/11 happened. But I want to tell you, that you truly have my dream job. It reminds me that people don't have to live working at jobs, but can be truly happy when they are living their career.

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