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Dan Catchpole | dcatchpole@heraldnet.com
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013, 8:59 a.m.

Boeing 777X: Chicago holds the key to Everett

If you're obsessed with all developments 777X, some noteworthy reads:

  • Scott Hamilton's Leeham News and Comment blog says Boeing Commercial Airplanes would prefer to continue main assembly of the 777X in Everett. But Boeing Co. CEO Jim McNerney is inclined to do it in South Carolina. So influencing a decision to keep the work in Washington means a pilgrimage to a riverside building in Chicago.
We're told Boeing Commercial Airplanes wants to assemble the 777X at the Everett plant, but of course the decision will be made by headquarters in Chicago. Jim McNerney, the CEO, is known to generally favor the non-union, lower cost Charleston (SC) plant over the higher cost Washington even though the Everett unionized workforce is far more skilled. ...

... Many believe the business case for building the 777X at Charleston isn't there, since the current 777 is assembled at Everett. But looking long-term, selecting Charleston may fit into McNerney's strategic vision of diversifying out of Washington State.

The wild card in site selection is McNerney, says the Boeing insider. ...

... Although one of our sources claims Charleston has already been selected by Chicago as the winning site, we've not been able to confirm this with anyone else.

Inslee's efforts to create a package to throw at Boeing are laudable. But it seems to us he needs to make a pilgrimage to Chicago (if he hasn't already).
  • Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates explores the implications of Japan Airlines' decision to buy the Airbus A350. The people he interviews think All Nippon Airways is likely to stick with Boeing and there will be no immediate fallout for Japanese industries contributing to the 787, 777 or 777X, because their relationship with Boeing is so symbiotic.

  • Bloomberg Businessweek introduces the uninformed reader to the notion that jumbo jets are no longer a thing, and that perhaps the 777X will hammer in the last nails.

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