June 2013 Archives

Heathrow Shuffle

It’s always an exciting time for us when a customer receives its first 787. So I’d like to congratulate British Airways as their first Dreamliner landed at Heathrow earlier today.

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The first 787 for British Airways is seen on approach to Heathrow. Photo by Lance Kuhn from Boeing Field Service.

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The 787 meets a 747 after arriving at Heathrow. British Airways photo.

Mitch Preston piloted the airplane on today’s flight, saying: “It was a real pleasure to fly the 787 home to Heathrow today - it’s a joy to operate, and a really smooth ride.”

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Waving the Union Jack after arriving at Heathrow. British Airways photo.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG pictured below, couldn’t contain his excitement. He tells us the 787 will become a mainstay of the British Airways fleet over the next few years.

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Willie Walsh reacts as the 787 lands in the UK. British Airways photo.

Actress Kim Cattrall, who was born in England, grew up in Canada and lives in the U.S., helped British Airways begin the countdown for customers to book flights on the 787. Flights are now on sale to Toronto and Newark with a special fare of £787 return in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) to both cities. Customers can also upgrade to Club World for an additional £787 return.

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The star of “Sex and the City” helps BA kick off special airfares on the 787. British Airways photo.

I’ll be over in the UK next month as British Airways officially welcomes the 787 to its fleet. I look forward to that— and celebrating Boeing’s 75th anniversary in the UK.

We'll always have Paris

As the 2013 Paris Air Show comes to a close, I wanted to share some final thoughts on the past week. For all of us at Boeing, this show will be remembered as the place we launched the 787-10. It was a proud moment for us and we can’t thank our customers enough.

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A large model of the 787-10 on display after our launch event.

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I can’t wait to see this fly for real.

During the week, we had customer announcements for 442 airplanes. While I always say this is just one week out of 52, it’s our pleasure to have so many customers use this high profile platform to share the good news.

We also got some valuable face time with our customers and suppliers—including some comic relief when Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary ended his boycott of air shows to fly in and formalize a huge 737 order.

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Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary had everyone laughing at our media chalet.

Finally, we had the chance to once again demonstrate the capabilities of our products with a 787 in Air India colors taking part in the flying display each day—and a Qatar 787 on static display.

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The Qatar 787 on static display outside the Boeing chalet.

While we’re ready to head home, it’s been a fantastic two weeks in Paris thanks to the amazing sites, sounds and of course— the food.

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A stunning sight at the Sacré-Cœur.

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A gorgeous heirloom tomato salad.

I’ll leave you with this video below of the 787 in the flying display. Hats off to our Boeing pilots who make it look so easy. Au revoir from Paris!

737 owns the day

After two days of twin-aisle action at the Paris Air Show, today belonged to the 737. Ryanair president and CEO Michael O’Leary flew into Le Bourget on a 737-800 decked out in special livery to celebrate the airline’s formal order for 175 Next-Generation 737-800s.

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Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner greets Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary at Le Bourget.

The order is Boeing’s largest ever from a European airline. As always, O’Leary drew an overflow crowd at our media chalet for the signing ceremony—where he entertained reporters while also handing out some great compliments about the 737.

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The two CEO’s make the 737 deal official.

O’Leary also made the point of talking about his interest in the 737 MAX, and we look forward to continuing discussions with Ryanair.

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There’s never a dull moment during an O’Leary news conference.

Earlier in the day, we announced an acceleration on the 737 MAX program. First delivery has been moved up one quarter— to third quarter 2017. It’s a sign of just how much progress we’re making. To see why we’re so excited about the MAX, check out the video below.

I also wanted to share this image of what our Renton factory will look like once the MAX comes on line. The MAX will be built on the “proving line” in-between the two main production lines to the left and the right.

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Here’s a look at the future of our Renton factory. Of course, there will be a roof!

Also today— CIT Aerospace placed an order for 30 737 MAX 8s, Oman Air ordered five 737-900ERs and Travel Service made a commitment for three 737 MAX 8s.

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Here’s the 737 MAX in CIT livery.

What a day for the 737!

Drop the X

Launching an airplane is always a special time. And it doesn’t get more special than launching it during an air show. We did just that today in Paris as we did away with the “X” and formally launched the 787-10.

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There were smiles all around at today’s launch of the 787-10. ALC Chairman and CEO Steven Udvar-Hazy (left) and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner celebrate.

Not only will this be the most efficient jetliner in history, it’s going to be a passenger favorite.

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The 787-10 under a night sky.

We couldn’t have gotten to this point without our customers Air Lease Corporation (ALC), GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), International Airlines Group/British Airways, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. We thank them for their support.

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Here’s a look at models of the 787-10 featuring our customers.

During today’s event, I couldn’t help think about the first time I saw Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner help launch an airplane. It was early in my marketing career, and Ray was the sales director for Thai Airways at the time the airline launched the 777-300. It was a proud moment then— and another proud moment today.

I also want to thank Korean Air for their commitment to order five 747-8 Intercontinentals and six 777-300ERs. As I predicted, widebodies continue to dominate the headlines at Paris.

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A 777-300ER and 747-8I in Korean Air livery.

I’ll leave you with a lovely photo I took this evening in Paris on the way to dinner— showing the French flag waving in the warm breeze under the Arc de Triomphe.

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A warm night and comfortable stroll along the Champs-Élysées.

Thunder road

The Paris Air Show kicked off today in Le Bourget with a bang—literally. Chalet road turned into thunder road this morning after two torrential downpours complete with thunder, lightning and wind.

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Stormy skies didn’t stop the air show— although some chalets took a power hit.

But sunny skies greeted the 787 for Air India as it took part in the afternoon flying display. It was a huge hit and the airplane looked spectacular.

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Boeing photographer Ed Turner captured these photos from today’s flying display.

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I’ve said this show is going to be all about the widebodies, and Day 1 lived up to that promise. GECAS became the second customer to make commitments for the 787-10X. The leasing company plans to buy 10 of the airplanes.

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Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner signs the papers with GECAS President and CEO Norman C.T. Liu.

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Here’s a 787-10X in GECAS livery.

For those of you wondering about a potential 787-10X launch, I’ll just say “stay tuned.” We’re very engaged with our customers and get closer to a launch each day.

Qatar Airways also announced orders and commitments for 9 of our 777-300ERs. This is a huge testament to the popularity of this great airplane.

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Our thanks to Qatar Airways for their confidence in the 777-300ER. Here’s Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker and Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner.

On the single-aisle side, the 737 MAX will soon be the cornerstone of one airline’s fleet renewal. Skymark Airlines in Japan announced their intention to buy the airplane.

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Here’s a 737 MAX in Skymark livery.

After a barrage of media interviews, I found some time late in the day to go on board the brand new Qatar 787 that’s on static display. This airplane is the 60th Dreamliner we’ve delivered and the interior is just as impressive as you’d imagine.

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On board the Qatar Airways 787.

I’m looking forward to a busy day tomorrow and sharing more with you then.

Another landing at Le Bourget

On the eve of the Paris Air Show, a brand new Qatar 787 made a gorgeous landing at Le Bourget today. Boeing photographer Ed Turner snapped these images as the airplane arrived under sunny skies.

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We’re excited to have this 787 on static display all week at the air show— as well as the 787 for Air India in the flying display.

Things officially kick off at Le Bourget tomorrow morning. I’ll be sharing a daily recap here on this blog— and be sure to follow our Twitter feed @BoeingAirplanes for real-time updates.

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Flying in France

There’s no doubt in my mind that this year’s Paris Air Show will be all about the widebodies. In fact, all you have to do is look at all the activity in France today. While the Airbus A350 made its first flight in Toulouse, our 787 in Air India colors took to the skies of Le Bourget for the second day of its air show validation flights.

First off, let me congratulate our competitor on today’s achievement. A new airplane is something everyone in this industry can appreciate and celebrate.

We’re also excited about showing off not one, but two 787s during the air show. The Dreamliner for Air India will take part in the flying display next Monday through Friday.

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A great day for a validation flight. This 787 for Air India gets ready for the Paris Air Show.

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You’ve got to love those wings!

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Nice paint job on the belly!

We’ll also be featuring a Qatar 787 on static display at the show. Combine these airplanes with all the buzz around the 787-10X and the 777X— it’s safe to say the widebodies will dominate the news.

Of course, I’ve had a little time to enjoy Paris itself. I’ll leave you with a couple of photos from two of my favorite places— a street market just down from the Arc de Triomphe— and a restaurant in the Saint Germain neighborhood that serves a great plate of cod.

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You can smell the cheese from a block away.

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The cod was perfect— and so was the rest of the meal.

Focus on efficiency

It’s no huge leap, but it is a big step. That’s the best way I’d describe our new Current Market Outlook (CMO) which I unveiled today in Paris. We’re forecasting the demand for 35,280 airplanes over the next two decades (up from 34,000 a year ago)—with a dollar value of $4.8 trillion.

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It’s no surprise that single-aisle airplanes will once again lead the way. We see 24,670 deliveries in this segment. But there’s still a huge pent up demand for twin-aisle airplanes, with 8,590 forecasted deliveries.

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The Asia-Pacific region, which includes China, will once again have the highest demand for new airplanes.

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If there’s one word I’d used to characterize what’s driving this year’s forecast, it would be “efficiency.” After dealing with high fuel prices and a very competitive market, airlines are demanding airplanes with high efficiency, low operating costs, environmentally progressive technologies and a great passenger experience. We’re stepping up to meet those demands with products like the new 737 MAX, the 777-X and the 787-10X.

I invite you to log on to our website to check out the full details of our 2013 CMO, as well as the video below we filmed at our new Everett Delivery Center.

Now, all eyes are turned to next week’s Paris Air Show. I got quite a few chuckles from reporters who attended today’s CMO briefing as I talked about air show order expectations. I told them our competition always puts on a show for the home fans by rolling out a wave of orders—and we don’t expect that to change this year.

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Speaking with one of the reporters who attended our CMO briefing in Paris.

The fact is, Boeing and Airbus have roughly split the market over the past decade. But you’d never know it from air show weeks during that period—where they outsold us two to one.

For Boeing, this show is about meeting with our customers and suppliers—while showcasing the capabilities of our products. We fully intend to do just that, while making things interesting along the way. See you from Le Bourget!

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It’s been nice and cool in Paris this week— perfect for touring places like the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Moving day

Just before leaving for Paris in advance of the air show, I took part in one of my favorite events of the year. I have the honor of serving on the Board of Directors at the Seattle Aquarium, and co-chaired the aquarium’s annual fundraising event Friday night called “Splash!”—with Boeing serving as this year’s title sponsor.

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The seals show off their new home at the Seattle Aquarium.

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Here’s me with the new exhibit in the background— a great atmosphere for the seals and the people who love them.

This year’s fundraising effort was dedicated to a new exhibit for the aquarium’s three harbor seals—led by the incredibly cute Barney. The new exhibit gives the seals more room to roam and play—and gives the public a much better look at these intelligent, gentle creatures. It’s really the crown jewel of the aquarium with a gorgeous view of Elliott Bay. I invite you to check out the great video below that shows how Barney and friends made the journey from their temporary home back to their cool new digs.

In addition to Boeing serving as title sponsor of the aquarium’s fundraiser, we also had dozens of Boeing employees who volunteered at the event— as well as giving hundreds of hours of their time to the aquarium over the course of the year. It’s just one example of the many ways our company and our employees give back to the communities we live and work in.

Month of May

I’m getting ready to head to Paris in advance of the air show to unveil our new 2013 version of the Current Market Outlook—our 20 year forecast of market demand. But before we look too far ahead, I wanted to take a quick look back at the month of May— which saw an impressive 64 deliveries.

The 787 program got back to delivering airplanes—putting seven new Dreamliners into the hands of our customers. Two more customers, Thomson Airways and China Southern Airlines, received their first 787. And all of our 787 customers are flying again after the new battery system installations wrapped up.

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The first 787 for Thomson Airways. I had the pleasure of being on the delivery flight.

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The first 787 for China Southern arrives to a water cannon salute in Guangzhou.

The 747-8 team was also busy with four deliveries in May, including our milestone 50th delivery, an Intercontinental for Lufthansa.

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Here’s the 50th 747-8 we delivered.

We also began certification tests on a package of performance improvements on the 747-8, including enhanced GE engines. This package will improve the fuel efficiency of the airplane another 1.8 percent. It’s just one of the ways we continue to invest in the 747-8 program and the airplane’s future.

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This 747-8 Intercontinental begins testing our new performance improvement package.

Speaking of efficiency, that’s one of the main things driving our new market outlook this year. I’ll be sharing more thoughts on that in the coming days—and look forward to bringing you all the excitement from the Paris Air Show right here on this blog.

Cool change

If you follow this blog on a regular basis, you know we’ve been tracking the progress on our first 787-9. I’m happy to report that final assembly of that airplane is now officially underway inside our Everett factory as we started joining large sections.

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This side view shows the longer fuselage sections of the 787-9 in Everett. I saw the center section being prepared during a recent trip to South Carolina.

In what may be the coolest picture I’ve shared in a while, the first 787-9’s vertical stabilizer is sporting the new Boeing Commercial Airplanes livery, a refreshed look that started with the 747-8 and evolved with the 737 MAX.

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Love the new look!

Our partners delivered the first 787-9 sections on or ahead of schedule—and major assembly is already taking place on the other flight test airplanes. By the way, we’ll build the first three 787-9s on our Temporary Surge Line in Everett for smoother integration of into the production system— while continuing to ramp up production across the 787 program.

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Head-on view of the first 787-9.

First flight of the 787-9 is scheduled for the second half of 2013, with first delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand set for early 2014.

 

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