Better things

As we reach the end of 2010 and I look back on what the year has brought, I see a a year of both highs and lows, of great accomplishments and a few setbacks. But what remains my strongest impression of the year is the dramatic recovery in the marketplace.

Just a few days ago, the International Air Transport Association reported that the world’s airlines will rack up more than $15 billion USD in profits this year — an all-time record. And don’t forget — they lost nearly $10 billion in 2009!

image/photo

As fast as we can make ‘em, airlines want us to make more of the innovative Next-Generation 737

That’s an amazing achievement by any standard. I admit that a lot went right for airlines — the global economy recovered at a strong pace, especially in Asia and the Middle East.

I think this turnaround is a credit to strong and effective management — airlines have done a great job in growing revenue, in controlling costs and in managing capacity.

As a result of their efforts, 2010 has been a pretty good year for Boeing Commercial Airplanes as well: Last year, we had 142 net orders.

This year, we’re already at 482, and we still have a couple weeks to go!

Airlines clearly need our market-leading products and services, and we’re pushing hard to get them what they need: Over the course of this year, we’ve announced plans to raise our production rates on the 737 (twice), the 747, and the 777 (twice, including an announcement today).

By 2013, our plan is to deliver 38 Next Generation 737s a month, 2 747-8s a month and 8.3 777s a month — that works out to a nice, round 100 777s a year!

Here’s a new video on just why we’re upping the 777 production rate:

Now, I’m getting ready to take off for my holiday vacation — a chance to spend some time with my family and friends, to reflect on the year that was 2010, and to get ready for 2011.

And what a year 2011 is shaping up to be — a year different from any in recent memory: We’ll deliver two new airplanes; we’ll begin production at our new South Carolina facility; we’ll begin to increase our production rates; and we expect to be making some key decisions about our approach in both the single-aisle and twin-aisle markets.

I’m excited for better things in the New Year, and I’m excited for a good break. And I want to thank you for spending time with me on the blog, and I wish you a terrific winter holiday, whatever you might choose to celebrate!

See you in 2011!

Comments (7)

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Wow, congratulations! Boeing is sitting with a backlog of 250 orders for the 777, so obviously you expect a lot more business. Good to see the in-production programs doing well.

Vero Venia (Montreal, Canada):

It is interesting to note that the 777-300ER still dominates its market segment despite the fact it entered into service in 2004.

Chris C (South Africa):

2011 is going to be an extremely exciting year for The Boeing Company, there’s no doubt about that!

Despite the recent setbacks to the 787 Program, this airplane will be a stellar success in the decades ahead, period. The sheer scope and complexity of the ingenious 787 Program is unprecedented and has never been seen before in the aerospace industry. The airplane itself is an engineering marvel and will prove to be the most revolutionary commercial airplane to date. The Dreamliner will be the “game-changer” as always promised, and will provide Boeing with valuable lessons learnt as to how to tackle its next all-new, 21st-century commercial airplane program.

There’ll still be many tough months ahead for the 787 Program, but considering Boeing’s deep knowledge of the aerospace sector and building large, complex and market preferred commercial airplanes, as well as having thousands of extremely clever and motivate people working for them, the Program will come right! The fundamental basics are sound within the 787 Program. Once the issues in production and the global supply chain are rectified, the goal of producing 10 787s/month will be well achievable.

The enormity of producing a new commercial airplane is phenomenal, and with the 787 (an airplane that’s futuristic and employs so many radical, unseen before advancements in commercial aviation), it has taken airplane design and manufacturing to a whole new level. Boeing is “paying” the price for such an innovative product in terms of the many teething problems so far but, ultimately, it’ll all “pay-off”!

I can’t wait until the 787, and both variants of the 747-8, are certified and delivered in 2011! The 747-8 will secure more orders in 2011, that I’m sure of, and it’ll prove to be a vital element in the large airplane market going forward.

Thanks, Randy, for keeping the Blog regularly updated and interesting. Have a great festive season and keep up the good work on revolutionising flight!

yogesh (Bangalore, India):

Happy holidays Randy! It's been good fun reading your blog.

Thomas V. Horstmann, Jr. (Portland, Oregon):

Randy, thank you for keeping those of us outside of the actual aviation industry updated on things at Boeing and the industry overall.

That said, it is pretty amazing the airline industry went from losing 10 billion in 09 to making 15 billion in 2010, and points to a much quick recovery within the airline sector than anyone projected or expected.

Lastly,I can't wait to see what Boeing does in terms of the 737 and 777 lines. Either way, 2011 should be an exciting year, especially with the 787-8 and 747-8 entering revenue service.

Keep up the great work, thanks again Randy and have a GREAT holiday season.

Tom (Germany):

Randy,

take your vaccation and best wishes!

I am a little bit astonished: No "thank you" to your 787 test team! Did they do a great job - I do not know, but they must do a good job (whatever had been decided/developed before they started their tests) and must get all possible support to earn the TC and PC!

Did you ever experience smoke in the cabin in a not certified aircraft ending in an emergency evacuation?

Thiagarajan K Rengasamy (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia):

Dear Randy

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011

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