While emphasizing “safety, innovation, and partnerships” at the Dubai Airshow, Boeing’s senior leaders said the company is focused on returning the 737 Max to service and supporting customers and supplier partners affected by the airplane’s grounding, while they also expressed empathy for those most affected by the two fatal crashes of the aircraft.
“Our thoughts remain with families and victims, and we continue to support them economically and emotionally,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO, Boeing Commerical Airplanes, at a briefing yesterday. “All employees at Boeing have them in their thoughts, and we will use these tragedies to refocus on safety, quality, and integrity.”
Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, and Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, voiced similar sentiments.
Turning to other programs, Deal said the in-development 777X will fly in early 2020, and “we plan to deliver the airplane in the early 2021 timeframe, slightly later than originally hoped.” Meanwhile, the company has a backlog of more than 5,500 commercial aircraft, and with global demand forecast for more than 44,000 airliners over the next 20 years at an estimated value of $16 trillion, “the fundamentals remain in place” for strong growth, Deal said.
Caret noted Boeing projects $2.5 trillion in defense and space market opportunities over the next decade and is “continuing to see demand from the U.S. and partners around the world,” with a significant portion coming from the Middle East. Caret cited the KC-46 Pegasus aerial refueling tanker, the new T-7 jet trainer, and the CH-47F Chinook and AH-64 Apache military helicopters as ideally suited to Middle East customers.
Boeing is also the prime contractor for the International Space Station, and Caret congratulated the UAE Space Agency and astronaut Hazzaa Al Mansoori on his recent mission to the space station.
With less than 20 percent of the world’s military aircraft fleet slated for replacement over the next decade, Boeing also sees substantial demand for upgrades, maintenance, and service life extension programs, creating large opportunities for its Global Services division.
“The strength of Boeing is our unrivaled ability to deliver lifecycle value for our customers,” Colbert said.
Boeing estimates global demand for $225 billion in commercial and government services over the next decade, with the Middle East ranking fourth in global aftermarket growth behind the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Colbert said that Boeing maintains two parts hubs in Dubai that stock some 1.7 million parts to support customers. With big data analytics expected to play a growing role in predictive maintenance and other aftermarket services, Boeing has been operating a digital analytics hub in the UAE since 2007, although it’s been used primarily for flight planning services through its Jeppesen division.