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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for Boeing

Success and failure hit Boeing in recent news

By Felix Bosques

Bystanders watch the first take-off of a Boeing 787, which will be getting an update in the 787 series with the new Boeing 787-10 in production.

Bystanders watch the first take-off of a Boeing 787, which will be getting an update in the 787 series with the new Boeing 787-10 in production.

In the past month, Boeing had its ups and downs economically. The company is looking forward to some new orders from prospective business partners, and have also dealt with situations involving backlash from the President concerning Air Force One, and with their current buyouts and layoffs of engineers.

 

Starting on the positive side, Boeing delivered their 500th 787 Dreamliner on 22 Dec. 2016, a remarkable achievement on the company’s part.

 

“Achieving 500 deliveries – the fastest to 500 for twin aisles – is a great accomplishment, made possible by the hard work and dedication of our employees and global suppliers,” said 787 Program Vice President Mark Jenks.

 

On 8 Dec. 2016, Boeing announced that the final assembly for their new aircraft, the 787-10, began. They have already received 154 orders for the 787-10.

 

“This is the result of years of preparation and solid performance by our Boeing teammates and supplier partners,” said 787 Program Vice President Ken Sanger. “This achievement is another example that demonstrates Boeing’s ability to develop great airplanes in a disciplined fashion in order to meet our customer commitments.”

 

More recently, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) ordered 75 737 MAX 8 planes from Boeing, an immense order valued at $8.25 billion. The 737 MAX has more than 3,500 orders from prospective customers, making it a highly demanded plane.

 

“When it comes to demand, this order shows the MAX 8 remains at the heart of the single-aisle market,” said Brad McMullen, vice president of leasing sales for Boeing. “We appreciate the confidence GECAS has in the 737 MAX, and look forward to seeing the airplanes placed with carriers all over the world.”

 

On 11 Jan. 2017, Boeing stated they would begin their buyout and layoff notices in the following week. The company sent buyout notices to employees in Washington, California and South Carolina, while involuntary layoff notices were planned to be sent to specifically engineers in Washington.

 

“[The job cuts were] driven by our business environment and the amount of voluntary attrition,” said Boeing’s Engineering Vice President John Hamilton.

 

Back in December, Boeing received a little lashing when their plans for Air Force One were bashed by at-the-time President-elect Donald Trump. Their estimated cost for the Air Force One program was around $4 billion.

 

“I think it’s [Boeing’s Air Force One program] ridiculous, I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number,” said Trump. “We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money.”

 

In other news, earlier in January, United Airlines announced the last 747 flight, which will take place in the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

“Today, there are more fuel-efficient, cost-effective and reliable widebody aircraft that provide an updated inflight experience for our customers traveling on long-haul flights,” said United Airlines president Scott Kirby. “For these reasons, we’re saying farewell to the Queen of the Skies, which has been part of our fleet since we first flew the aircraft between California and Hawaii in 1970.”

 

In addition to the retirement of the 747, Boeing fell below Airbus’s order sales for the rest of 2017 with the newest Airbus order surge. Airbus currently has 731 sales for 2017, although the sales have declined recently for both Airbus and Boeing.
“We are essentially sold out at this point,” said Airbus Sales Chief John Leahy. “That doesn’t mean we can’t increase our production, and we will next year and the year after. We have to build what we already have orders for, not worry about getting new orders.”

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