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

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Electroimpact cuts Mukilteo staff by 9 percent

“What we’re missing now is a monster anchor project,” the company’s VP said.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

How can you tell if you are getting good financial advice?

Assume that it’s still the same buyer-beware market that has always existed.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

Most Read