Randy's Journal: Archives
Monday at the show
The first full day of activity at the Paris Air Show sure bustled with events. And I mean from the moment we hit the road very early in the morning to the time we headed back to the hotel tonight, eleven hours later.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Alan Mulally started our day with interviews at 7:45 a.m. in front of our 777-200LR Worldliner. Bathed in the beautiful sunlight of early morning, it really is a gorgeous airplane. By my count, Commercial Airplanes officials had two dozen media sessions today, including a briefing by 787 Vice President Mike Bair that drew a standing-room only crowd.
Alan Mulally (left) and 777 Vice President Lars Andersen view a special display inside the 777-200LR Worldliner on exhibit at the Paris Air Show.
This week we're going to continue telling the world about Boeing's momentum. We've sure come a long way since the last Paris Air Show two years ago, when a lot of people were asking what was wrong with Boeing.
Air shows always bring surprises, and today we got a nice one. Qatar Airways said it will order at least 20 777s, including the 777-200LR, the 777 Freighter, and the 777-300ER. What was particularly gratifying was that Qatar said the 777 will become its "standard large widebody." It's another demonstration of the 777 family's flexibility and appeal for airlines around the world.
While it's true we were disappointed Qatar went for the A350 rather than our 787 Dreamliner, overall the announcement is a further validation of our product strategy of twin-engine, long-haul flight. That strategy was on the minds of everyone we talked with today. I think people now understand the transformation Boeing has made. We're focused more than ever on creating unbeatable value for our customers with the 737, 787, and 777 families.
Italian Air Force tanker (KC-767A) and 777-200LR on display at Le Bourget.
It's certainly not surprising that the 787 and 777 are getting most of the attention at the show, especially since the 777-200LR is parked right in front of our building. But I'm also pleasantly surprised by the interest in the 747 Advanced. I get a real sense that Boeing-watchers really want us to do that airplane. And as we've said, we're seeing the kind of customer interest that, if I were a betting man, would lead me to wager that we will do that airplane. I'm hoping we'll get the go ahead this summer. It's going to be a great airplane.
Finally, a tip of the hat to Airbus. Most of us had our first opportunity this afternoon to see the A380 fly. Without question it is an impressive technological achievement, and its flight demonstration was a big highlight today. But as I've reminded many people, our strategic difference with Airbus in the very large airplane market has little to do with the airplane itself. It has to do with the fact that the A380 is a very large (and now having seen it up close, I do mean very large) airplane for a very small part of the commercial airplane market.
Tuesday promises to be just as busy as today. I'll let you know how it goes!