June 2014 Archives

The China effect

Next week, I’ll be unveiling our updated Current Market Outlook—Boeing’s 20 year forecast for global airplane demand. Without giving too much away, it’s safe to say that China will once again figure very prominently in our report.

If you haven’t noticed, Chinese airlines have been buying single-aisle airplanes at a rapid rate. This year alone, our Chinese customers have committed to buy 205 737s, including more than 100 737 MAXs. At current list prices, all of those airplanes are valued at more than $19 billion.

2014 Commitments from China

  • Donghai Airlines: 25 737s

  • Shandong Airlines: 50 737s

  • Nine Air: 50 737s

  • China Eastern Airlines: 80 737s

Those Chinese customers are keeping our Renton employees very busy. Last year alone, Chinese airlines took delivery of about one out of every three 737s built.

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737s bound for Chinese customers can be seen almost every day on the flightline at Boeing Field.

As China’s middle class keeps growing—and flying—airlines are making decisions about which airplanes to buy. That’s why we have to be so competitive in this crucial market, working closely with our Chinese customers and enhancing our partnerships there.

We thank all of our customers in China for their business and look forward to growing right alongside them.

1,500 and counting

Sometimes, milestones are just a number. But for all of us at Boeing—and for aviation fans around the world—this milestone is extra special.

The 1,500th 747 has now been delivered. The airplane, a 747-8 Intercontinental, will join 13 others already in Lufthansa’s fleet.

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The 1,500th 747, a 747-8 Intercontinental for Lufthansa.

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A special logo for a special airplane.

One of the most iconic and beloved airplanes ever built didn’t reach the 1,500 mark (the first ever widebody airplane to reach this milestone) by chance. The all-new 747-8 has built on the tradition and taken it to a new level. Since the airplane went into service in 2011, we’ve continued to invest in it to make it even better. A recent performance improvement package is just part of our commitment to continually improve the 747-8 for our customers.

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Cutting the ribbon to celebrate the 1500th delivery.

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The 1,500th 747 during one of its test flights.

While we look toward the future with upcoming deliveries to new customers, we also salute the men and women of Boeing who dared to dream big. Joe Sutter and his team of Incredibles launched the jumbo age and did us all proud in the process.

Cheers to the 747’s past, present and future. Enjoy the photo gallery below that shows how we got to 1,500.

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The very first 747 rolls out of the Everett factory in 1968.

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The 500th 747 for Scandinavian in 1981.

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The 747th 747 for Lufthansa in 1989.

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The 1,000th 747 for Singapore Airlines in 1993.

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Joe Sutter, the father of the 747, poses next to Lufthansa’s first 747-8 Intercontinental in 2012.

737 wings have a new PAL

How do you continue to meet growing demand for the world’s best-selling airplane? It doesn’t hurt to have a PAL in your corner.

The first high speed, state-of-the-art fastening machine for the 737 wing Panel Assembly Line, nicknamed PAL, is now boxed up and almost ready ship to our Renton factory.

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PAL, built by supplier Electroimpact, will use a high-speed, laser-guided system to install rivets and fasteners. Gail Hanusa photo.

Standing 20 feet tall, it’s one of nine PAL machines that will make up the new continuous flow assembly line in Renton’s wings building— allowing the program to assemble 737 wings faster than ever. In fact, we’ll be able to build panels twice as fast as today.

PAL is just one of the investments we’re making to update the Renton site infrastructure and production processes to support increased rates and the introduction of the new 737 MAX. It also supports our goals to make our production safer and to improve quality.

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For those of you in the Puget Sound area, be on the lookout for PAL in the coming days once it begins its journey by rail and barge from Snohomish County down to Renton.

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Covered in a giant box, PAL makes its way from our supplier in Mukilteo over to our Everett factory— eventually bound for Renton.

Into the West (Coast)

I had the honor of celebrating the introduction of Philippine Airlines upgraded service to the United States on its 777-300ER fleet. PAL hosted an event at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills to mark the only non-stop flights from the West Coast to Manila— deploying 777-300ERs to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Posing with Dan Schull, Boeing’s lead for sales with PAL, along with PAL flight attendants.

The airline’s 777-300ERs were previously only used on long-haul flights to Australia, Canada and to London.

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One of the new 777-300ERs recently delivered to PAL.

Congratulations to PAL on their new West Coast routes as they use the 777-300ER to expand their global reach.

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Dan Schull (left) speaking with Jose Cuisia, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the United States.

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The obligatory foodie pic.

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Here’s me with Ramon Ang, President & Chief Operating Officer of PAL.

Fly The Dream

On the same day we announced certification of the 787-9, here’s something else that’s worth celebrating. The 787 has now flown its 20,000,000th passenger. That’s right, 20 million passengers and counting after 100,000 revenue flights.

To put that into perspective, 20 million is the entire metropolitan populations of São Paulo, New York City, or Osaka. And all those passengers have flown the equivalent of 8,000 trips around the earth at the equator - or 415 times to the moon and back!

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20 million passengers and counting.

To mark the occasion, we’re kicking off a special campaign with 787 customers all over the globe and anyone who’s ever flown on (or will soon fly) a Dreamliner.

We call it “Fly The Dream.” It’s your chance to share the 787 experience with the entire world. It even has its own hashtag: #FlyTheDream.

Simply use #FlyTheDream on social media to share photos, stories and favorite moments on board the 787. Many of our customers will also be taking part—along with travel bloggers who’ll be on upcoming 787 flights.

I can still remember the first time I ever flew on the 787. It was December 2011, the launch of the 787 Dream Tour from Seattle to Beijing.

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Taking off for the Dream Tour—Seattle to Beijing.

I could hardly sleep the night before—giddy with excitement and anticipation. From seeing the beautiful wings outside the window for the first time, to really feeling the impact of the lower cabin altitude after a long trip, the flight turned out to be all I thought it would be— and more.

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What a wing!

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A rare chance for me to get inside the 787 flight deck during its time on the ground.

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Posing with China Southern flight attendants during the 787 Dream Tour.

From now through June 30, share your own stories with us. You can also follow all the action on our special webpage that tracks tweets and captures them in one place.

Join us as we #FlyTheDream.

History in the making

We’ve seen a lot of record breaking orders over the past couple of years here at Boeing. And we saw another one today, thanks to China Eastern Airlines.

In what will be China’s largest-ever purchase for single-aisle airplanes, China Eastern has committed to buying a mix of 80 Next-Generation 737s and 737 MAXs.

Earlier this week, I was at Sea-Tac Airport to greet China Eastern executives as they launched a 777 Freighter venture to transport tons of Northwest cherries to China every week through their subsidiary China Cargo. We have an enduring partnership with China Eastern, one that will grow even stronger with this single-aisle agreement. And later this year, they’ll start taking delivery of 20 777-300ERs.

Today’s news once again shows that our customers control the timing of order announcements—not air show calendars. We thank China Eastern and look forward to being a part of their future growth.

Cherry, Cherry

Sunshine and 56 tons of cherries. That’s what greeted a 777 Freighter today at Sea-Tac Airport as China Cargo, a subsidiary of China Eastern Airlines, launched its inaugural Northwest cherry export from Washington state.

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A water cannon salute as a China Cargo 777 Freighter lands at Sea-Tac Airport.

I was on hand to welcome the crew when the airplane arrived just after noon from Shanghai.

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It was quickly loaded up with all those tasty cherries for the flight back to China. This new business proposition is expected to benefit both Northwest cherry growers and China Cargo. In fact, we’re told all of the cherries on this inaugural flight have already been sold online to customers anxiously awaiting their arrival.

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Northwest cherries— ready for delivery to China.

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The crew is greeted after arriving at Sea-Tac from Shanghai.

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It’s always great to speak with the pilots who fly our planes. They tell me this 777 Freighter flies “great.”

It’s fitting that a 777 Freighter was used for today’s mission. I was in Shanghai back in 2005 when we launched the 777 Freighter, an airplane that we knew would be incredibly popular with our Chinese customers.

China Eastern has six 777 Freighters already in service. Later this year, they’ll take delivery of the first of 20 777-300ERs, and we’ve been teaming with them closely to ensure a smooth entry into service.

Congratulations to our partners on this great new venture as they spread the taste of the Northwest across the globe.

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Right on track

Executing on our production rates. It’s one of our top priorities this year as we drive toward our delivery guidance of 715 to 725 airplanes. That would be an all-time Boeing record.

As of the end of May, we remain on track to meet that guidance. We’ve delivered a total of 271 airplanes this year (compared to 245 during the same time frame in 2013). Airbus has logged 248 this year.

And just five days into the month of June, our delivery centers have been busy with even more deliveries—including the 150th 787 which went to launch customer ANA.

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The 150th 787 to be delivered leaves Everett.

We also booked 14 new orders over the past week, bringing our net total for the year to 394. Airbus stands at 203 orders as of May 31.

While the Farnborough Airshow is just around the corner, we continue to book orders throughout the entire year—- not just during one week. We thank all of our customers for their orders and vow to get those airplanes into their hands as soon as possible.

Royal guard

We keep seeing more and more 787 liveries coming out of our paint hangars in Everett.

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Here’s the first 787 to be delivered to AerCap and leased by THAI.

Yesterday, we got our first look at the first 787-8 for THAI. The airline is leasing the plane from AerCap.

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THAI named the airplane “Ongkharak,” which is a district in central Thailand meaning “royal guard.”

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THAI will eventually have six 787-8s in its fleet, along with two 787-9s.

 

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