Boeing Will Only Hike Jet Output if Sustainable – Boeing Executive

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing 737 MAX

Boeing sees strong demand for its 737-family jets over and above its existing plans to increase production by 12 percent by 2017 but would only revise up its goals if they can be sustained, a senior executive said on Monday.

“Today we are building 42 airplanes a month and plan to go to 47 in 2017. We see very strong demand after that; in fact we see upward pressure in rates,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“We don’t make those decisions unless the demand is real, we know we can deliver the airplanes and we believe we can operate at that higher rate for a substantial period of time in order for us to recognize the benefits of the higher rate as well as our supply chain,” he added.

Tinseth was speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the Istat Europe aviation conference in Istanbul after a senior Airbus executive warned against raising output in the hope of selling more jets and vowed not to chase after marginal deals.


Boeing to boost production of 737 jetliners to 52 a month by 2018

Boeing 737-900ER
Boeing 737-900ER (image courtesy of Boeing)

Boeing Co appears increasingly likely to boost production of its top-selling 737 jetliners to 52 a month starting in 2018 after the head of its commercial airplanes business spoke about that possibility on Tuesday.

“Our focus today would be around a 52-a-month rate in (737 production) somewhere in that 2018 time frame,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes Chief Executive Officer Ray Conner told an investor conference held by Morgan Stanley.

“Now, I can tell you that the demand is there for those airplanes, significant demand. So I’m not uncomfortable with the timing or with rate,” he said.

The remarks, among the most explicit by Boeing so far, further cement the widely held view that the Chicago-based company is close to announcing another firm planned rate increase for the narrow-body 737.

The company currently makes 42 737s a month and has set firm plans to lift the rate to 47 a month in 2017.

Last week, Conner said he sees “incredible pressure” to increase the 737 production rate beyond current targets Boeing President and Chief Operating Officer Dennis Muilenburg said the company “had taken a serious look” at raising rates, speaking during last week’s Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit, but he declined to say whether a decision had been made.

Airbus Group SA also is studying raising output of its best-selling A320-family aircraft beyond the record level of 46 jets a month already targeted for 2016. A decision could come by year-end, Airbus Americas President Barry Eccleston told the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit.

Both companies have thousands of orders for the agile, fuel-efficient planes, which are immensely popular with low-cost airlines. In Boeing’s case, its backlog of 4,008 737 orders represents nearly eight years of production at current rates, meaning airlines must wait to get planes they order today.


Airbus’ A320neo two years ahead of Boeing’s 737 Max

Airbus A320neo
Airbus A320neo

Airbus’ first A320neo is expected to fly this month, about two years ahead of Boeing’s 737 Max.
The first of the new re-engined Airbus narrow body aircraft will begin a complex flight test program that will eventually engage six A320neos for a year, according to a story in the Australian Business Traveler.
The first of the Airbus A320neos is to be delivered in 2015, also two years ahead of Boeing’s planned first 737 Max delivery in the third quarter of 2017.
But Boeing is in a good position, because while the Airbus plane has maintained a lead over Boeing’s counterpart, with 3,257 orders at the end of August, or 60 percent of the market, Boeing’s 737 also is winning many orders.
So far this year the Boeing 737 won 663 orders, more than twice the number the company could produce at the current rate of 42 per month.
Boeing executives have insisted that Boeing will catch up with Airbus and that the current Airbus lead is largely due to Airbus’ head start with their re-engined plane.
To meet demand, Boeing is now in the process of developing a third 737 production line at its Renton campus to accommodate its planned rate increase to 47 planes per month, and an expected additional increase to 52.

The narrow body aircraft are by far the most popular models for both companies. A just-released Boeing report on the China market said narrow body aircraft account for 91 percent of the aircraft flying there today.
The Airbus A320neo flight test program will be unusually complex because the company must win certification for two engine variant in three different models.


Boeing 737 MAX Twin-Engine Airliner

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing 737 MAX

Boeing 737 MAX is a new family of twin-engine airliners being developed by Boeing. It is based on the world’s best-selling aircraft Next-Generation 737. The 737 MAX is scheduled to enter service in 2017.

The 737 MAX family of aircraft include the 737 MAX 7, 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 variations. The new range of aircraft is intended to deliver unsurpassed fuel efficiency for the customers in the single-aisle segment.

The 737 MAX development programme was approved by the company’s board of directors in August 2011.

The programme is on track with the wind tunnel testing planned through mid-2012.

The maiden flight of the aircraft is scheduled in 2016 for the start of deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2017.
International orders for Boeing’s new aircraft
“The 737 MAX family of aircraft include the 737 MAX 7, 737 MAX 8 and 737 MAX 9 variations.”

In December 2011, Boeing received the first firm order for 150 737 MAX aircraft, from the launch customer Southwest Airlines. The first aircraft will be delivered in 2017, under a contract worth $19bn.

In January 2012, Norwegian Air Shuttle placed an $11.4bn firm order for 100 737 MAX aircraft and 22 Next-Generation 737-800s. Lion Air finalised a $22.4bn firm order for 201 737 MAXs and 29 Next-Generation 737-900ERs in February 2012. Virgin Australia finalised a firm order with Boeing in July 2012 for 23 737 MAX aircraft, plus four options.

Boeing Best Sellers That Keep Creating History

Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX
Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has more than 12,000 commercial planes in service carrying passengers and cargo. Its strong product portfolio includes the 737 family, 747 jumbo jet, the 747-8 family, 767 models, the 777, and the 787 Dreamliner. Here’s the lowdown on Boeing’s top two aircraft that played a huge role in making the company what it is today.

The narrow-body 737
The fact that the 737 family is Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ highest-selling plane should come as no surprise. But not many know that the 737 is the first commercial jetliner to cross the 10,000-order mark — achieved in 2012. The first 737-100 was delivered to Lufthansa in 1967 , and it entered full service in 1968.

Boeing is currently working on the 737 Max, the reengineered version of the 737, which has firm orders for more than 2,100 units, and is due to enter service in 2017. As seen in the chart below, the 737 forms the lion’s share of the jet maker’s total commercial deliveries. During the past 12 years (2002-2013), the company dispatched 3,707 of these jets. In 2002, 737s accounted for 60% of the total deliveries, which went up to 81% in 2010. Last year, the narrow-body jet formed 69% of the total dispatches.

Boeing’s backlog ended June 30 stands at 5,237, of which every three of four aircraft orders are for the 737. According to Boeing’s website , it received gross orders for 604 of the jets through July 22, 2014, which tallies net orders at 550, adjusted for 54 cancellations. To manage the mounting 737 backlog and ensure timely delivery, the production level has been ramped up from 38 jets a month to 42, and will be further increased to 47 a month in 2017. At current production rates, Boeing’s single-aisle backlog translates to more than seven years of production. Serving passengers for more than four decades, the jet’s order flow remains steady, with a seemingly bright future.

Boeing forecasts that demand for new planes between 2014 and 2033 will be 36,770, and 70% of this will be for single-aisle jets. So, 737 will get its fair share of orders, continuing to support the company’s top- and bottom-line growth.

The wide-body 777
The 777, Boeing’s second-highest-selling jetliner in the past 12 years, is extremely popular among airlines across the globe. The twin-engine, wide-body aircraft has five passenger versions (accommodating between 305 and 440 passengers), and a freighter variant. The 777 program’s roots go back to 1990, the year of its launch. The jet entered service in 1995, flown by United Airlines .


Boeing responds to backlog, likely to boost 737 production rate this fall


Expect Boeing to boost production of the 737 jetliner even more this fall.

Comments from Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith Thursday morning indicate Boeing is planning to ramp up production of the popular plane. Smith, who was presenting at the Jefferies 2014 Industrials Conference in New York, said in his remarks that “very strong demand” is leading to further aircraft rate increases, after 17 increases so far.

“On the 737 we’re seeing more pressure to go up in production rates,” he said. “And we’ll be addressing that in next couple of months to come.”

This suggests an even-higher rate boost than the 47 planes-per-month now planned for 2017.

The backlog of 737s is at a record level of 3,952 aircraft, or nearly eight years of work at the current rate. Boeing CEO Ray Conner has indicated he would like to reduce the backlog, partly because a waiting time that long can discourage additional orders.

So far this year customers have ordered 550 model 737s, more than Boeing can produce in a full year of production at the current rate of 42 monthly.

The 737 is the mainstay of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines’ (NYSE: LUV) fleet and is an important part of the fleet of Fort Worth-based American Airlines Group (Nasdaq: AAL)

An even-higher 737 production rate is good news for the Puget Sound Region because it will strengthen the case for more hiring at Boeing, and at its suppliers. While the 737 fuselages are made in Wichita, Kansas, Boeing builds the wings in Renton, and many of the parts for this assembly, and other parts of final assembly, come from suppliers in the region.


Boeing’s densely packed 737 version – Which Airlines would be Interested?

Southwest Airlines Boeing 777 MAX 7
Southwest Airlines Boeing 777 MAX 7

As airlines try to pack more passengers into their planes, ordinary travelers are feeling the squeeze. Now, Boeing is releasing an even more densely packed version of its most popular plane, the Boeing 737. I’ll examine why Boeing is launching this model, what it means for airlines, and how soon you could be flying in one.

Target market
Remember, unless you’re personally in the market for a private jet, you’re not Boeing’s target market. Airlines are most of the market and, right now, airlines are looking to boost revenue per aircraft which allows them to increase revenue without major cost increases.

This has led to slimmer seat backs at American Airlines , Delta Air Lines , United Continental , and Southwest Airlines in efforts to put more seats on each plane. The high-density trend has even become a core part of fast-growing Spirit Airlines and its effort to make airfares competitive with bus fares.

But, as airlines continue to look for ways to lower their cost per available seat mile, or CASM, Boeing wants to have a high-density version of its most popular aircraft available for purchase. The Wall Street Journal notes that reducing CASM is a major goal for this high-density 737 with Boeing targeting a 5% increase in per-seat efficiency.

Will you be flying one?
Not anytime soon. Boeing is targeting 2017 for the first deliveries of this model. But after that, it really comes down to how much airlines want to adopt this model of the 737.

Southwest Airlines, which operates an all-737 fleet, has already been set up as the launch customer. Southwest passengers stand a good chance of flying on one of these planes toward the end of this decade.

Ultra-discount carriers, like Spirit Airlines, may also give the plane a look, although Spirit currently operates an all-Airbus fleet, and having a more diverse fleet could lead to increased maintenance costs. But for airlines like Ireland’s Ryanair , this high-density 737 would go well with their existing low-fare model and current 737 fleet.

Mainline legacy carriers are less likely to adopt this configuration, but not necessarily because of the decrease in passenger comfort. Unlike discount carriers which try to offer the cheapest fares possible by driving down CASM, carriers like American Airlines, Delta, and United have a select number of economy seats with more legroom on board their 737 aircraft, which they sell, or give to elite travelers as upgrades. Not only are these major carriers using the upgrades to boost ancillary revenue, but being able to offer these seats to elite status travelers encourages customer loyalty and can attract more higher paying travelers.

Since an all-economy-class, 200-seat layout would hurt the multi-tiered pricing strategy of mainline carriers, American, Delta, and United are less likely to adopt this layout, as it would remove their ability to sell and market upgrades.


Southwest Announces New Service between Dallas Love Field and The Bay Area

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 (file)
Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines today added new flights for Customers’ travel through early March 2015, bringing two additional destinations to the carrier’s complement of Cities with new nonstop service to and from Dallas (Love Field). Flights between the heart of Dallas and both San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport begin Jan. 6, 2015, with introductory fares as low as $119 one-way for purchase today through Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, at 11:59 pm in the respective time zone of the originating city. Please see additional fare rules and restrictions below.

All flights offered between Jan. 6, 2015, and March 6, 2015, by Southwest Airlines across the country and to five near-international countries served by the carrier are now available for purchase at

“We continue to add new destinations, with ever-renewed excitement, to give our long-time Customers in Dallas more flight options that show how we value their time,” said Gary Kelly, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer. “We’re linking the Bay Area to North Texas with the value, convenience, and Customer Service that only Southwest Airlines can deliver to them.”

The carrier previously announced its post Wright Amendment offerings from Dallas (Love Field) which, along with the additions of Oakland and San Francisco, gives Dallas Customers access to a total of 33 destinations via nonstop service on Southwest Airlines by Jan. 6, 2015.

Beginning Oct. 13, 2014, Southwest will add nonstop service from Dallas (Love Field) to Baltimore/Washington, Chicago Midway, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Ronald Reagan Washington National.

On Nov. 2, 2014, Southwest will add additional nonstop city offerings from Dallas (Love Field) to Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale, Nashville, New York (LaGuardia), Phoenix, San Diego, Orange County/Santa Ana, and Tampa.

Fares valid only on nonstop service. Purchase from Aug. 4–8, 2014, 11:59 p.m. in the respective time zone of the originating city. Travel Jan. 6 through March 6, 2015. Travel valid every day except Fridays & Sundays. Displayed prices include all U.S. and international government taxes and fees. Seats are limited. Fares may vary by destination, flight, and day of week and won’t be available on some flights that operate during very busy travel times and holiday periods. Fares are available for one-way travel. Fares may be combined with other Southwest Airlines combinable fares. If combining with other fares, the most restrictive fare’s rules apply. Sale fares may be available on other days of week, but not guaranteed. Fares are nonrefundable but may be applied toward the purchase of future travel on Southwest Airlines, so long as you cancel your reservations at least ten minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your flight. Failure to cancel prior to departure will result in forfeiture of remaining funds on the reservation. Any change in itinerary may result in an increase in fare. Standby travel requires an upgrade to the Anytime Fare. Fares are subject to change until ticketed. Offer applies to published, scheduled service only.

FAA Fines Southwest Airlines $12 Million for Safety Violations on 737s

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 (file)
Southwest Airlines

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners.

Beginning in 2006, Southwest made “extreme makeover” alterations to eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners, the FAA said. An FAA investigation determined that Southwest’s contractor, Aviation Technical Services Inc. of Everett, Washington, failed to follow proper procedures for replacing the fuselage as well as other work on the planes, the agency said. All of the work was done under the supervision of Southwest, which was responsible for seeing that it was done properly, the FAA said.

Southwest then returned the planes to service in 2009 and began flying them even after the FAA “put the airline on notice that these aircraft were not in compliance” with safety regulations, the agency said.

During its investigation, the FAA also found that Aviation Technical Services’ workers applied sealant beneath the new skin panels but did not install fasteners in all of the rivet holes fast enough for the sealant to be effective.

“This could have resulted in gaps between the skin and the surface to which it was being mounted. Such gaps could allow moisture to penetrate the skin and lead to corrosion,” FAA said.