this year we officially launched Boeing Airplane Services, a new
business dedicated to retrofit engineering and modification services.
It was a busy start; in the first six weeks of operation, we received
almost 800 customer inquiries, which included engineering requests
for in-flight video upgrades, gross-weight increases, interior reconfigurations,
and avionics upgrades. To support these requests, we brought 150
engineers and other people on board in the Seattle area. These people
join our staff at modification sites in Long Beach, Calif., and
Wichita, Kan., to serve operators of Boeing- and Douglas-designed
is simple: We listen to our customers. And once we’ve done that,
we listen some more. Our ability to add value to a customer’s airplane
through a retrofit package depends on whether we understand our
customers’ needs. If we understand these needs, we can transform
them into revenue-generating improvements.
Here’s how we
do it. First, Boeing Airplane Services has its own dedicated resources.
In the past, Boeing engineers had to balance in-production work
with retrofit requests. Naturally, new airplanes for our customers
were their priority. Today, though, we can devote more time to master
change kit proposals, and our turnaround times for those are dropping.
We can still do better in other areas, however. My personal goal
is for Boeing Airplane Services to give customers a definitive answer
to their questions within 72 hours, depending on project size and
Second, we have
the right people to properly and quickly complete the job. Engineers
in Puget Sound, Long Beach, and Wichita are already working on customer
projects. Program management engineers oversee all our engineering
operations and bring a special focus to the business. Their job
is to quickly move a customer’s request from inquiry to contract
to final product. We have organized this business to be fast and
still provide high-quality airplane improvements. Our engineers
can access all proprietary test and flight data collected during
and after the airplane’s production. We use these data to ensure
that airplane improvements meet Boeing standards and qualify for
prompt regulatory certification.
focused on adding value to each airplane. We want to turn a customer’s
$100,000 retrofit investment with Boeing Airplane Services into
a $200,000 payoff. We also offer customers multiple conversion and
upgrade activities concurrently, reducing the total downtime. The
success of our business depends on whether customers benefit from
our products and services. If they do, we know they will come back.
We are excited
to be in business and look forward to the potential growth this
market shows. We have talented, dedicated people and the engineering
and technical resources of The Boeing Company behind us. For you,
our customers, we are confident that Boeing Airplane Services will
provide the world’s finest and most competitive engineering and
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