Airbus woes bring no joy, Boeing says

EVERETT – The Boeing Co. is not rejoicing at the problems besetting its European rival Airbus, Boeing’s top airliner salesman said.

“We don’t particularly like to see them struggling like this,” said Scott Carson, Boeing vice president of commercial airplane sales. “It’s not good for our customers and it’s not good for the industry.”

Carson spoke in Everett on Friday, as officials with Airbus parent company EADS met with a French government minister to discuss changes in how Airbus is managed after last week’s disclosure of further delays in delivering the A380 superjumbo jet to airlines.

Airbus said problems with wiring the 555-seat jet would mean a delay of six months or more for all but the first A380. The deliveries already are running six months behind the initial schedule.

The disclosure also triggered an investigation into multi-million-dollar stock deals involving Noel Forgeard, the French co-chief executive of EADS, who, along with members of his family and six other directors, exercised stock options in the weeks before Airbus managers ordered an internal study of production problems with the A380.

Boeing can’t afford to gloat over Airbus’ problems, Carson said during a breakfast speech to the Everett Area Chamber of Commerce.

Boeing knows from its 747 experience that “big airplanes are really hard,” he said.

Boeing also is pushing hard to meet its own tight delivery schedule for the 787, he noted. “We are not, I think, so arrogant to think we cannot have a similar path forward.”

“Our focus is on us not stumbling,” Carson added later. “We’ll let Airbus deal with Airbus’ situation.”

Speaking with reporters afterward, Carson said the A380 delays will disrupt the fleet plans of key airlines that buy from both Airbus and Boeing. With those deliveries in flux, it’s hard for them to make decisions on buying more planes, he said.

“You can’t delay a product to a customer for a year and have it be a healthy situation for them,” Carson said.

Both Emirates and Qantas airlines have ordered the A380, and both are considering major Boeing orders, with Emirates considering 50 to 100 787s, while Qantas is said to be studying longer-range 777s.

The Boeing salesman said he doesn’t expect the A380 delays to stimulate more sales of Boeing’s new 747-8. Boeing’s new jumbo jet is 100 seats smaller than the A380.

“It’s a different airplane,” Carson said.

With the announcement coming just last week, it’s been too soon for any airlines to decide how to reorganize their fleets in response, Carson said.

“Those changing fleet plans could result in opportunities (for Boeing sales),” he said. “We haven’t seen that yet.”

On other topics, Carson said that Boeing continues to see strong interest in its new 787, even though it’s already sold out all its planned production into 2012.

The company has firm orders for 360 787s and has sent out proposals to airlines possibly interested in buying 500 more, Carson said.

One of those potential buyers could be United Airlines. Carson said Boeing hosted top executives from the airline this week for its first sales meeting since the industry crisis that followed the 2001 terrorist attacks.

“That was so much fun,” he said. “All we did was talk about the capability of the (787).”

Most airliners need heavy maintenance checks every five or six years, but with the 787, “we told them about an airplane that can go to heavy check every 12 years.”

“They were weeping,” Carson said (although he later clarified that the United executives, while obviously excited, may not have actually shed tears). “With a little luck, we’ll have them back in the door within six or eight months.”

Reporter Bryan Corliss: 425-339-3454 or corliss@

Talk to us

More in Local News

Mel Jennings sits in his structure during a point-in-time count of people facing homelessness in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. Mel has had a brain and spinal surgery, and currently has been homeless for a year. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Annual homeless count aims to give snapshot of housing crisis

Volunteers set out into the rain Tuesday to count all the people facing homelessness in central Everett.

Catherine Berwicks loads ballots into a tray after scanning them at the Snohomish County Elections Ballot Processing Center on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020 in Everett, Wa.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Lawmakers push to boost voting in county jails across the state

A House bill envisions an approach similar to what’s been happening in the Snohomish County Jail for several years.

Vandalism at Seaview Park on Jan. 21, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Edmonds Police Department)
Police seek suspects in repeated vandalism at Edmonds parks

Vandals have done over $10,000 of damage to parks across the city, including suspected arson and graffiti with hate speech.

One worker looks up from the cargo area as another works in what will be the passenger compartment on one of the first Boeing 787 jets as it stands near completion at the front of the assembly line, Monday, May 19, 2008, in Everett, Wash. The plane, the first new Boeing jet in 14 years, is targeted for power on in June followed by an anticipated first flight sometime late in 2008.  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Boeing workers long-exposed to carcinogen far above legal limits

The company confirmed in depositions that parts of its Everett plant still don’t meet 2010 standards.

CarlaRae Arneson, of Lynnwood, grabs a tea press full of fresh tea from Peanut the server robot while dining with her 12-year-old son Levi at Sushi Hana on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. CarlaRae said she and her son used to visit the previous restaurant at Sushi Hana’s location and were excited to try the new business’s food. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Peanut the robot waitress is on a roll at Lynnwood’s Sushi Hana

She’s less RoboCop and more Rosey as she patrols the restaurant, making sure everyone has a drink and good time.

K-9 Hobbs and Sgt. Jason Robinson pose for a photo after Hobbs’ retirement ceremony at the Edmonds Police Department in Edmonds, Washington on Thursday Jan. 26, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Police dog Hobbs retires after nearly 10 years on the Edmonds force

The German shepherd had 520 deployments, 166 arrests and 113 evidence finds with his handler, Sgt. Jason Robinson.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown and the victim of a brutal attack in 2018 answer questions from reporters on Jan. 27, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Jake Goldstein-Street / The Herald)
White supremacists sentenced for racist beating at Lynnwood bar

A federal judge handed out stiffer sentences than prosecutors had asked for in a series of sentencing hearings Friday.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring is this year's winner of the Henry M. Jackson Award given by Economic Alliance Snohomish County. Photographed in Marysville, Washington on April 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marysville State of the City address set for Feb. 1

Mayor Jon Nehring will highlight 2022 accomplishments and look to the future. Questions from the audience will follow.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A move to require voting and a bicameral chasm on vehicle pursuits

It’s Day 19 and the mood is heating up as the third week of the 2023 legislative session comes to an end.

Most Read