Selling aerospace

  • By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, June 21, 2011 12:01am
  • Business

While Boeing Co. and Airbus executives were signing multibillion-dollar jet deals at the Paris Air Show, Washington representatives were busy selling the state’s aerospace advantages Monday.

“This show provides invaluable opportunities to meet face-to-face with international aerospace compani

es and sell Washington state as the premier location for aerospace,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Gregoire led a delegation of roughly 75 leaders in Washington’s aerospace industry to the international air show taking place outside Paris this week in hopes of landing more business for the state’s 650 aerospace companies.

The governor spoke with 50 aerospace executives, including Boeing’s chief executive, Jim McNerney, and commercial airplanes president Jim Albaugh on Monday, she wrote on her travel blog. Besides courting new business, Gregoire is trying to convince Boeing to build its next new airplane in the state.

Gregoire is getting help with her aerospace marketing by the state’s Commerce Department, aerospace apprenticeship program and Boeing’s unions — all sent representatives to Paris.

The Commerce Department unveiled an interactive directory of the state’s aerospace companies at the show Monday.

“Doing business in Washington puts companies in the heart of one of the world’s strongest aerospace clusters,” said Patti Brooke, Commerce’s assistant director for business services.

The directory consists of compact discs, online and mobile apps components using technology that enables the CDs to seamlessly update themselves with latest information, including text, graphics and video.

The Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee, developer of Washington aerospace apprenticeship programs, announced that it is offering apprenticeship and training programs to European manufacturers who operate in Washington state.

The apprenticeship committee “is excited to share Washington’s wealth of training and education resources that has produced some of the most highly skilled and best trained aerospace and advanced manufacturing experts in the world,” said Laura Hopkins, committee executive director.

Gregoire said the committee’s willingness to work with European companies should make the state more attractive for doing business. Washington’s 84,000 skilled aerospace workers have been a selling point for the state.

“By expanding these training programs, we’re telling potential new companies that you’ll have the skilled labor needed to succeed — and ensuring those companies that are already located here have the workforce to expand,” she said.

Tom Wroblewski, president of Boeing’s local Machinists union, also went to Paris to tout the state’s workforce. The union supports Gregoire’s recently launched effort, dubbed Project Pegasus, to land Boeing’s next jet assembly line.

“Our union is committed to growing Washington’s aerospace industry,” he said.

Gregoire, who also met with executives of emerging Boeing competitor Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China on Monday, has meetings scheduled with Airbus, GE Aviation and Canada’s Bombardier on Tuesday.

Aerospace links

Read Gregoire’s travel blog:

View the state’s aerospace directory:

Learn more about the aerospace apprentice program:

Jet deals announced Monday in Paris

Boeing Co. orders and commitments

17 747-8 passenger planes with one undisclosed customer ordering two and another 15.

33 jet-order from Air Lease Corp.: 14 firm orders for 737-800s, five 777-300 Extended Range jets and four 787-9s. Air Lease also will have options for four additional 737-800s and will exercise options it placed for six 737-800s last year.

Six 777s from Qatar Airways. The order already was on Boeing’s order book but was attributed to an unidentified customer.

Airbus orders and commitments

Four A330s jets from Saudi Arabian Airlines.

30 A320 new engine option aircraft from Scandinavian Airlines.

60 A320 NEO aircraft from GE Capital Aviation Services.

11 A330 and one A321 aircraft from Air Lease Corp., which also signed a tentative deal for 50 A320 NEOs.

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