It’s always fun to share the stage with John Leahy from Airbus. While we didn’t actually take the stage together today, we gave back to back presentations during the ISTAT conference in Orlando, Florida. I lost count, but John said my name at least a dozen times during his talk. We must be doing something right if the competition talks more about you than its own products— just like the recent Airbus ads.
On stage at ISTAT Americas 2013 in Orlando.
One of things John and I do agree on is the strong demand for airplanes. During ISTAT, I’ve been asked a lot about the so called production “bubble.” At Boeing, all of the data suggests the market is strong and will remain strong. Combine that with our healthy backlog, and you can see why we continue to increase our production rates.
We’re also sharing a new report about the economic life of airplanes. Despite some of the anecdotes we’ve heard, our exhaustive analysis of the data shows that airplanes are long-lived assets and continue to be good investments.
Obviously, the 787 was on everyone’s minds at ISTAT. Our number one priority is getting the fleet back in the air. We’re confident our permanent fix with three layers of protection will do that and we look forward to testing it as soon as we get the green light from the FAA.
Finally, there’s a lot of buzz about the 777X. Obviously, a lot of our customers are talking about it and they’re happy with the design. Every day, we’re closer to bringing it to the market as we aggressively move forward.
ISTAT, the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading, is really booming and becoming an important industry gathering. Think of it as an air show without the airplanes. It’s where people in commercial aviation who are looking for money connect with the people who have it. I’ll leave you with a shot of me showing off the Advanced Technology Winglet for the 737 MAX. I expect 2013 to be another big year for the MAX.