October 2013 Archives

What happens in Vegas...

Those of you who follow my blog know I hit a lot of air shows like Farnborough, Paris and Dubai. But you might not be as familiar with the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Convention & Exhibition. This year at the show in Vegas, we showed off a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) and even had some celebrities pay a visit.


Here’s the BBJ based on the 737-700 on display at NBAA in Las Vegas.


And here’s a look inside the BBJ.

It’s an important show that focuses on a niche market catering to corporations, heads of state and millionaires needing on-demand global transportation. I wasn’t able to be in Vegas, so I asked my friend Capt. Steve Taylor, president of Boeing Business Jets, to give us a tour. Check out the video below— that includes a celebrity sighting.

Third quarter wrap

The third quarter of this year brought us plenty of opportunities and challenges. And as our earnings report showed, we came out even stronger on the other end.

We booked 200 net orders in the quarter that increased our backlog to nearly 4,800 airplanes worth a record $345 billion. We also delivered 170 commercial airplanes in the third quarter, including 23 787s.

The big news of the day came with our announced production rate increases for the 787 program — beyond the 10 per month we’re on track to achieve later this year. We’ll be increasing the rate to 12 per month in 2016, and then to 14 per month before the end of the decade.

We’re also quickly closing in on our 100th 787 delivery. The fleet is flying an average of 200 flights per day and has racked up nearly 43,000 revenue flights since entering service.

As we turn our attention toward the end of the year, we have more work to do. We remain committed to improving 787 dispatch reliability and have already implemented a series of component, software and spare parts placement improvements. But we won’t stop until we meet our customers’ and our own expectations.

We’re also focused on reaching our delivery target of 635 to 645 airplanes—with greater than 60 of those being 787s. As we look forward, I invite you to take a look back at our third quarter highlights in this video—and below in pictures.


• 737 MAX 8 reaches firm configuration, completing major trade studies that define the airplane’s capabilities.


Making room for the MAX in our Renton factory.

• As part of a complex series of moves to support rate increases and future MAX production, the production line for 737 wings systems and installation is relocated and reconfigured.

• WestJet completes an order for 65 737 MAXs, bringing total MAX orders for the first three quarters of 2013 to more than 500.

• TUI Travel PLC orders 60 737 MAXs, fulfilling a commitment announced in May.

• Delta receives its first 737-900ER, one of 100 airplanes ordered in 2011 to renew its single-aisle fleet.


The first 737-900ER for Delta.

• Alaska Airlines orders five 737-900ERs.

• Travel Service finalizes an order for three 737 MAX 8s.

• Virgin Australia receives its 100th Next-Generation 737, a 737-800.


• Silk Way Airlines orders two 747-8 Freighters as part of its effort to expand its regional and international operations.

• Certification flight testing continues on a package of 747-8 performance improvements designed to improve fuel efficiency by 1.8 percent.


This 747-8 Intercontinental takes to the skies to test a performance improvement package.

• Cathay Pacific takes delivery of its 100th directly purchased Boeing airplane - a 747-8 Freighter.


• FedEx Express takes delivery of its first 767 Freighter as part of its fleet modernization.


The first 767 Freighter for FedEx.

• The 59th and final 767 Freighter is delivered to launch customer UPS, the airplane’s largest operator.

• KC-46A Tanker passes critical design review as Boeing and the U.S. Air Force validate the aircraft’s final design elements. Assembly progresses on the first tanker as the second tanker enters assembly.


The first tanker begins to take shape inside our 767 factory.

• Boeing partners with Uzbekistan Airways, AmeriCares and the Soglom Avlod Uchun Foundation to deliver medical supplies to Tashkent onboard the airline’s newly delivered 767-300ER.


• Lufthansa announces its intention to order the 777-9X; launch of the 777X family is expected by the end of the year.


The 777-9X in Lufthansa livery.

• Turkish Airlines finalizes an order for five 777-300ERs.

• All Nippon Airways orders three 777-300ERs.

• The Boeing Classic golf tournament opens with a flyover by a 777-300ER in Emirates livery.


An Emirates 777 performs a flyover during the Boeing Classic golf tournament at Snoqualmie, Washington.


• The first 787-9 completes a successful first flight, beginning a comprehensive flight-test program leading to certification and delivery in mid-2014.


Boeing employees cheer the 787-9 first flight.


Gorgeous air to air shot of Mt. Rainier.

• Second 787-9 joins the test program with the third 787-9 beginning final assembly.

• Air Lease Corporation finalizes an order for 30 787-10 and three 787-9 Dreamliners.

• China-based Xiamen Airlines finalizes an order for six 787-8s to enable future long-haul routes from Fujian to Europe, North America and Australia.

• GE Capital Aviation Services finalizes an order for 10 787-10 Dreamliners.

• Aeromexico begins operation of its first 787 Dreamliner after the airplane is delivered to International Lease Finance Corporation.


Aeromexico’s 787 in flight.

• Hainan Airlines takes delivery of the first of 10 787s.

Commercial Aviation Services

• Boeing launches iPad maintenance apps that provide airline technicians with immediate access to manuals, part numbers and other data, enabling airlines to enhance real-time regulatory compliance, reduce flight delays and reduce operating costs.

• Boeing launches 787 training in Miami, the largest commercial aviation training campus in the Flight Services network. Aeromexico and LAN Airlines are the first customers to train on the 787 suites in Miami.


One of two 787 flight simulators now located at our Miami campus.

• Airplane Health Management signs three new customers — China Eastern, Jetstar and Royal Brunei - and extends their contract with Aeroflot to cover 737s, bringing their customer total to 61.

The future of flight

The Puget Sound region is steeped in aviation history. But this week, we helped celebrate its future.

If you haven’t heard of the wonderful things Raisbeck Aviation High School is doing for the next generation of aerospace leaders, this should spark your interest. Since its modest start in 2004, the school has become recognized around the world as an incubator for technical talent with its focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


The new campus of Raisbeck Aviation High. All photos by Jessica Oyanagi.

This week, students celebrated moving into a new, state of the art campus adjacent to the Museum of Flight and Boeing Field in Seattle. The new facility’s architecture models the leading edge of an airplane wing.


Raisbeck Aviation High students and supporters gather in front of “The Spirit of Education,” a specially marked Alaska Airlines 737 that flew in for the school’s grand opening.

The school’s capital campaign was funded by state dollars and contributions from the private sector — which comprised 35 percent of the $44.5 million needed to finance the new facility. Boeing, Alaska Airlines and Raisbeck Engineering were lead donors, representing a fraction of the investors from the region’s large aviation and aerospace community, which views the school as an opportunity to create a shared legacy that will pay business dividends for decades.


Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner helps celebrate the school’s new home.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner was on-hand for the opening, and told students that the school provides a pipeline for our industry’s greatest resource: a talented, highly trained workforce that will continue to push the boundaries of flight and achieve the impossible. He encouraged students to learn all they can from the area’s aviation-related businesses, the Museum of Flight, and their mentors, many of whom are Boeing employees.

“You have a whole team pulling for your success,” Conner said. “Someday, we’ll be learning from you — and marveling at all you have achieved.”


Students and guests mark the opening of the new Aviation High campus.

We’re proud to play a part in helping fund the future of flight and congratulate the school on its beautiful new campus.

Pride of Africa

One of our customers has some pretty big expansion plans. And the 777 will be central to that growth.

Kenya Airways is scheduled to receive the first of three 777-300ERs later this month. The airplane recently rolled out of the paint hangar, and as you can see from these photos—it is a beauty.


The first 777-300ER for Kenya Airways. All exterior photos by Gail Hanusa.


The 777-300ER will be the largest airplane in Kenya Airways’ fleet once it enters service. Besides being stunning on the outside, the airline is also showing off its interior. The Premier World business-class features full flat-bed seats with leather foot-rests, laptop stowage and armrests that also act as privacy dividers.


The 777-300ER orders are just part of Kenya Airways’ 10-year strategic plan dubbed “Project Mawingu.” The airline plans to increase its fleet size from 44 airplanes to 107 by 2021— and destinations from the current 62 to 115. They’ll use the 777-300ER for direct flights from Nairobi to Guangzhou later this year. Kenya Airways has also ordered nine 787s.


Congratulations to the airline on this gorgeous new addition to their fleet. We’re proud to be a part of your growth spurt.

Plane talk

We like to talk about the efficiencies the 787 brings to our customers. But it’s even better to hear other people say good things about the airplane—especially a pilot.

After Jetstar took delivery of its first 787 this week, the airline flew the Dreamliner to Honolulu before continuing on to Melbourne. As they left Hawaii, the crew realized a Jetstar A330 would be leaving not too far behind them carrying vacationers back home to Australia.


Jetstar’s 787 leaves Everett on its delivery flight.

The pilot of the 787 decided to let everyone on board know about this—and made the following announcement to airline executives, employees and media in the cabin.

“There’s a Jetstar A330 following us home to Melbourne today. We (the Dreamliner) will take 10 hours and 20 minutes to complete the journey while the A330 will take 10 hours and 50 minutes, we will use 15 percent less fuel, and we have 25 more seats on board. Anyone that says (the Dreamliner) isn’t a game-changing aircraft just needs to look at the statistics.”

That’s the kind of endorsement that speaks directly to an airline’s bottom line. (You can check out the actual travel time according to Flightaware: 787 vs A330)

Congratulations to Jetstar for taking delivery of their first 787. Read more about what sounded like a great delivery flight.

Best wishes Mike

It’s always tough to say goodbye to someone you admire and respect. Such is the case with my colleague Mike Bair, who announced his retirement from Boeing today.

While he’s the current leader of Commercial Airplanes Marketing & Business Development, Mike has done just about everything there is to do at Boeing. He started as an engineer back in 1979—and went on to work on the 737, 757, 767 and 777 programs. He also headed up our Commercial Aviation Services at one point.

Mike was at the helm of the 7E7 program in 2003— leading it to what would become the 787 Dreamliner. He also played a pivotal role in launching the 737 MAX.

I’ve had the opportunity to work for Mike multiple times throughout the years. It was always a great experience and I consider myself lucky.

I’ll be taking on some of Mike’s duties as we bring Marketing and Sales together—but Mike’s spirit of innovation will live on through the many people here at Boeing who’ve had to honor of working side by side with him.

Best wishes on your retirement Mike. You’ve earned it.

Oye Como Va

I just got back from a whirlwind tour of Latin America where I shared our new Current Market Outlook for that booming region. São Paulo, Santiago, Bogotá and Mexico City—all exciting cities with populations fueling an aviation growth spurt.


My ride from Bogota to Mexico City. Note the Aeromexico logo on the winglets of this 737-700.

We expect Latin America to grow at one of the fastest rates in the entire world— with the airline fleet in the region tripling in size over the next 20 years. That’s a whopping 2,900 new airplanes valued at $300 billion.

The overwhelming majority of those new airplanes coming into the Latin American fleet will be single-aisle. Our airline customers in the region have already placed 120 orders for the 737 MAX—and we’re working hard to make sure many more orders come in. Our forecast also shows that Latin America will need 270 smaller wide-body airplanes— a demand the 787 family is well positioned to meet. The 787 is already in service with Aeromexico and LAN. Soon, Avianca will receive its first Dreamliner.


Sitting down for a television interview.

During my trip, I was able to meet with dozens of reporters and quite a few of our customers. Across the board, everyone is excited about the growth on the way for this region—both economically and in air travel. They were also genuinely excited about the new products we’ll be bringing to the market over the next several years, from the 737 MAX, to the new members of the 787 family, to the 777X.

What would a trip south of the border be without good food? I leave you with some images of all that Latin American cuisine has to offer— and a little musical flavor.


This could get messy.


Here’s the reason for the bib— beef in chili sauce in Mexico City.


My co-workers were enjoying steak and all the fixings in Chile.


And this is all for me! People in Chile really like beef for dinner—lots of it.


Corn cakes in Bogota.

Changing landscape

If you want to know just how much our production rate increases have changed the landscape here at Boeing, you only have to look at the figures we released today. We’ve delivered 476 airplanes through the third quarter of this year. As Jon Ostrower of the Wall Street Journal first pointed out, that’s just one less airplane than we delivered in all of 2011. And we still have three months to go.

We delivered 40 787s through the end of the quarter, and added three more Dreamliner deliveries in the first few days of this month—bringing the yearly 787 delivery total to 43 (the overall total is 92). One of the 787s that delivered this month is the first for Royal Brunei Airlines, which just landed back home today after its delivery flight. Royal Brunei becomes the first operator of the Dreamliner in Southeast Asia.


The first 787 for Royal Brunei. Ed Turner photo.

Some of you may be wondering about the impact the U.S. government shutdown is having on deliveries. We’re continuing to complete and certify airplanes and make them available for delivery during the shutdown. In fact, we’ve delivered several airplanes to our customers in the first few days of October. That’s because Boeing has been granted delegated authority to perform some of its own certification work on behalf of the FAA. Deliveries of airplanes with new configurations or those delivered from Boeing South Carolina could be delayed during the shutdown because some FAA employees retain certification duties for some of our products.

Congratulations to all of the teams across airplane programs—and everyone at our delivery centers for another outstanding and very busy quarter.

Staying busy

Just over two weeks ago, we celebrated the first flight of the 787-9. And since that time, we’re proud to say the airplane has been incredibly busy.

Today, the 787-9 took off for its 10th flight. The airplane has been flying regularly, with just a day for initial checks between the first and second flights, as planned. As of this morning, the 787-9 had racked up more than 40 hours in the air and has completed initial airworthiness testing.


The 787-9 in flight. Leo Dejillas photo.

It’s exciting for the entire team to see the progress we’re making. On top of the two weeks of flight testing already in the books, the second 787-9 rolled out this past weekend and has begun ground testing. It’s another sign that the program is on track for first delivery in mid-2014.


The 787-9 at Boeing Field. Adam Tischler photo.

Congratulations to the team—and be sure to keep an eye out for the airplane if you live in the Puget Sound region.


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