Boeing Logs 1,002 Orders in 2005

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Boeing Ends 2005 with New Records for Airplane Orders

(Source: Boeing Co.; issued Jan. 5, 2006)

SEATTLE --- The Boeing Company recorded 1,002 net commercial airplane orders during 2005, setting a new Boeing record for total orders in a single year.

The 2005 total surpasses the previous Boeing record of 877 net orders in 1988, which includes both Boeing and then-McDonnell Douglas totals; the companies merged in 1997. Boeing posted 272 net orders for commercial airplanes in 2004. Gross orders in 2005, which exclude cancellations and conversions, totaled 1,029.

Three airplane programs – the 737, 777 and 787 programs -- also achieved individual records with net orders of 569 for 737s, 154 for 777s and 235 for 787s. Previous record totals for these programs were 438 737s in 1996, 116 777s in 2000, and 56 787s in 2004. The 747 and 767 programs also had a very successful sales year with 43 and 15 net new orders, respectively.

Boeing has posted its year-end orders information on its Orders and Deliveries Web site

Orders finalized since the Dec 20, 2005, update include 68 737, 777 and 787 airplanes for Air India, 20 737s for China Southern Airlines, 10 737s for dba (formerly Deutsche BA), 6 737s for Hainan Airlines, 5 737s for Shanghai Airlines, 4 737s for China Eastern Airlines, 5 737s for Shenzhen Airlines, 4 737s for WestJet, 2 737s for Turkmenistan Airlines, 8 787s for Lcal and 2 787s for Continental Airlines.

In total, more than 72 different customers ordered Boeing airplanes in 2005, including passenger airlines, cargo carriers, leasing companies and private customers. The 2005 totals include 28 aircraft from customers who wish to remain unidentified as of Jan. 4, 2006.

Notable highlights for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in 2005:

--Launching the 747-8 Intercontinental, 777 Freighter, 737-900ER, and the 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighter,

--and offering customers a larger Boeing Business Jet, the BBJ 3.

--Achieving firm configuration on the 787 Dreamliner and reaching several other major program milestones, including building the first composite fuselage sections and unveiling the 787 flight deck.

--Establishing a new world record with the 777-200LR Worldliner for distance traveled nonstop by a commercial airplane, demonstrating that this airplane can connect nonstop virtually any two cities in the world.

--Producing outstanding results in Commercial Aviation Services, which completed and delivered the first 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter, and won new customers for the Electronic Flight Bag, Airplane Health Management and Maintenance Performance Toolbox. CAS also responded to increasing customer demand for around-the-clock support by opening its first integrated operations center.

--Continuing efforts to dramatically improve the quality and productivity of the Boeing production system, including completing the sales of the Wichita/Tulsa and Arnprior operations, which are now valued partners to Boeing and suppliers to the entire industry.

--Delivering the final 757, marking a successful 23-year passenger airplane program that sold more than 1,000 airplanes.

--Deciding to conclude production of the 717 while celebrating its legacy of introducing moving production lines to Commercial Airplanes.

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Boeing 787 for Vietnam hehe :D can't wait to see it in service.

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Battle won; war lost?
Record plane sales for Boeing weaken case in subsidy fight

By Ameet Sachdev
Tribune staff reporter
Published January 13, 2006


Boeing Co.'s record year for airplane orders in 2005 may end up hurting its case in the trade war with archrival Airbus SAS, said a top official at the European planemaker.

Allan McArtor, chairman of Airbus North America Holdings, throwing fuel on the long-smoldering dispute, said that the 1,002 orders Boeing booked last year show the Chicago-based aerospace giant has no trouble competing in the marketplace despite the billions of dollars in government support Airbus receives.

Airbus' year-end order total is not available yet, but it likely fell behind Boeing for the first time in five years. The France-based company still manufactures more planes annually than Boeing.

"Part of the Boeing case is to show damages from unfair competition in the marketplace," McArtor said. "It would appear that it will be difficult for Boeing to show damages in the marketplace."

A surge in demand from the Middle East and Asia helped Boeing nearly quadruple the number of orders it won in 2004. Much of the excitement focused on Boeing's new midsize plane, the 787 Dreamliner, which is scheduled to enter service in mid-2008. In 2005, the company logged 235 orders for the jet, which uses carbon-fiber composites to achieve very high fuel efficiency--a key selling point in the current environment of rising fuel prices. The 787 easily outsold its Airbus competitor, the A350, which won 49 orders through the end of November.

"As we've seen, Boeing has no trouble selling competitive airplanes," McArtor said, referring to the 787.

While McArtor's comments might be dismissed as self-serving, some trade experts said his view may gain some traction as the United States and the European Union move forward in their lawsuits before the World Trade Organization. A March deadline looms for written legal arguments. Oral arguments follow this summer.

"Boeing can't have it both ways," said David Pritchard, an expert on aviation trade at the State University of New York at Buffalo. "You can't have record sales and say these subsidies are damaging us."

Boeing counters that the subsidies have been a long-term problem and its reversal of fortunes does not diminish their damage, said company spokesman Richard Dalton. The company maintains that below-market government loans give Airbus an unfair advantage by helping it launch new airplanes at relatively low cost. The company then can aggressively price its planes and steal customers away from Boeing.

In its complaint, the U.S. claims the subsidies have allowed Airbus to erode Boeing's share of the global market to about 50 percent from 67 percent in 1999. Boeing's declining fortunes have forced the company to cut its commercial airplane workforce by 60,000 people.

"We remain as committed as before to ending the Airbus subsidies," said Christin Baker, spokeswoman for the U.S. trade representative's office. "The facts remain the same. One year doesn't change the fact that there has been substantial injury."

Economist Gary Hufbauer agrees that one year won't make a difference in the U.S. legal case. That said, "in real life it does make a difference," he said.

"The USTR reads the newspaper as well," said Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Institute for International Economics in Washington. "I imagine they would be leaning back on Boeing to take it easy so this case does not cause additional frictions in other trade talks."

He predicts, like many, that the sides will reach a negotiated settlement rather than wait for a WTO ruling.

Some say Boeing has continued to pursue the trade litigation despite record orders because it wants to disrupt development of the A350, which is expected to enter service in 2010, two years after the 787. Airbus maintains it can finance the A350 on its own but won't do so unless Boeing gives up the tax incentives and infrastructure support it receives from state and federal governments.

Airbus received more than $4 billion in subsidies from its European government backers in developing the A380, a massive double-deck plane that is able to carry 800 passengers. Not wanting to surrender the market for jumbo jets, Boeing in 2005 went ahead with plans for a larger version of its pioneering 747.

After some delays, Airbus is expected to deliver its first A380 to Singapore Airlines this year. In 2005, the company--a joint venture of European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co. and BAE Systems PLC--forecast deliveries of 370 airliners, compared with 290 delivered by Boeing.

But the lead is expected to diminish, with some analysts predicting Boeing will reclaim the title of world's No.1 plane manufacturer within a few years.