CEO: Boeing is ‘way ahead’ of Airbus with 777X

The 787 and 777 jet programs are helping distance Boeing from rival Airbus, the company’s chief executive said Wednesday.

Boeing is “five years ahead” of Airbus in new technology, CEO Jim McNerney said during the company’s annual investor conference. The conference, which is webcast live, is being held near Boeing’s North Charleston, S.C., site.

The jet maker honed new technology, such as use of composites, with the 787 program.

Boeing will use that capability in future Dreamliner derivatives as well as new variants of the 777, McNerney said.

Customer interest in the 787-10, a larger version of the Dreamliner, is “high and growing,” he said. Boeing intends to launch both the 787-10 and the 777X this year, McNerney said.

The updated 777X will have a fourth-generation composite wing. It will seat 40 to 50 passengers more than the existing 777-300 ER, which seats 386 passengers. The new jet will fly farther and use smaller engines, he said.

Airbus doesn’t have an airplane that will compete with the 777X, McNerney said.

“We’re way ahead of them and it’s going to be fun,” he said.

Airbus’ closest competitor to the new 777X would be the A350-1000, which seats 350 passengers.

McNerney also spoke passionately about the company’s “partnering for success” initiative, a company-wide effort to cut costs.

If a supplier isn’t cooperating with Boeing’s new program, it won’t be invited to bid on new programs in either commercial airplanes or defense and space. Boeing already sent letters to some suppliers telling them not to bid on 777X work.

“We told them: don’t bet against Boeing,” he said.

“I’m sounding like Darth Vader here,” McNerney said, with a laugh.

McNerney insinuated that the supplier initiative isn’t limited to external partners. Asked about where Boeing will place future jet assembly, McNerney said, “now that we have internal competition (between Puget Sound region and South Carolina), we’re going to get much better deals.”

More in Herald Business Journal

Boeing outmaneuvered? Airbus takes Bombardier under its wing

Airbus will buy a controlling stake in Bombardier’s C Series airplane — and build it in Alabama.

Nordstrom suspends buyout after struggling to get financing

A buyout was meant to help the company continue turnaround efforts outside the glare of market scrutiny.

More self-awareness could help build a better medical system

Marcy Shimada of Edmonds Family Medicine writes the second in a series about fixing our health care system.

Scratch-and-sniff brochures aimed to prevent disaster

Puget Sound Energy has distributed more than a million scratch-and-sniff brochures to… Continue reading

Jewelry, accessories store Fuego opens second site in Snohomish County

Northwest-based jewelry, accessories and gifts store Fuego opened a new outlet store… Continue reading

Extreme cleaning company Steri-Clean opens in Mukilteo

The first Washington franchise of the Steri-Clean company will celebrate its grand… Continue reading

Justices to hear government’s email dispute with Microsoft

A lower court ruled emails in a drug case couldn’t be searched because they were in Ireland.

Waiting to upgrade to the iPhone 8? You’re not alone.

The older model iPhone 7 is enjoying a new sales bump while the new iPhone 8 isn’t flying off shelves.

Most Read