Skip to comments.Boeing Optimistic on keeping 747, 767 production lines open for the near furture.
Posted on 05/25/2005 12:50:26 AM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness
Business Wednesday May 25, 04:28 AM
Boeing optimistic on keeping 747, 767 production lines
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Boeing Co. is optimistic that it will get enough orders for its aging 767 and 747 jets to continue production past this year, the chief executive of its commercial aircraft unit said on Tuesday.
"We're very pleasantly surprised," Alan Mulally said when asked at a company conference for analysts and investors about ongoing demand for the two aircraft which are both expected to be replaced by newer models in coming years.
Boeing is marketing the so-called 747 Advanced as a successor plane to the the jumbo 747, which is being eclipsed as the largest commercial jetliner by archrival Airbus's double-decker A380.
Boeing is battling to regain dominance of the commercial aircraft market from Airbus, which overtook Boeing in jet deliveries in 2003.
In the past, the airplane manufacturer has indicated that a decision on whether to produce the 747 Advanced -- which would be slightly larger, fly further and be more fuel efficient than its predecessor -- depends largely on whether it can keep the existing 747 production line open.
Thanks in part for demand for cargo versions of the jumbo jet, it now looks more likely that will happen, Mulally said.
"It's not over yet for the 747," he added.
The smaller 767, on the other hand, will be replaced by the Boeing's newest passenger jet, the 787 Dreamliner now under development.
Boeing is marketing 767s as an interim solution for airlines who eventually plan to buy the more fuel efficient Dreamliner, scheduled to start commercial flights in 2008.
The planemaker had hoped to keep the 767 alive long-term through a military refueling version, but a planned 100-plane order by the U.S. Air Force for the tanker last year collapsed in a conflict of interest scandal.
Boeing's former chief financial officer was sentenced in February to four months in prison for his role in illegally recruiting Darleen Druyun, a top U.S. Air Force official, for a job with Boeing.
The Chicago-based aircraft maker has said it still hopes to win a future competition to supply tankers to the Air Force.
Mulally said Boeing was still planning to make a definitive announcement about the production lines this summer.
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