Pontifications: Boeing spending millions to retain engineers

May 16, 2022, © Leeham News: Boeing is spending millions of dollars to retain engineers represented by the union, SPEEA.

It’s a reversal of efforts to trim SPEEA ranks through early buyouts and outsourcing and to address an aging workforce.

By Scott Hamilton

The proposed 2017 joint venture between Boeing and Embraer was meant to address the retirement crunch. But delays in clearing the JV by the European Union and then the Boeing 737 MAX crisis and the global COVID pandemic killed the deal. Boeing walked in April 2020, shortly after the pandemic began. Officials claimed that Embraer failed to meet all the terms and conditions outlined in the documentation. Embraer denied this, claiming Boeing’s self-inflicted MAX crisis was the reason Boeing walked. The companies are in arbitration over a $100m break-up fee. With the collapse of the JV, Boeing lost access to Embraer’s young (and less expensive) engineering workforce, the No. 1 reason to do the joint venture.

“There is a big push to keep people,” SPEEA tells LNA. “Boeing is using raises, restricted stock, and incentive bonuses to keep engineers. Our contracts called for $7m in out-of-sequence raises last year and the company spent $22m.”

Boeing is more than a year away from clearing its inventory of 737s and 787s. Until then, or until the end is definitively in sight, it’s highly unlikely that Boeing will launch a new airplane program. But there are five 7-Series airplane programs that engineers and others are working on: the certification of the 737-7 and 737-10 this year and next; the development of the 777-8F; and increasing the gross weight of the 787-9 and -10. Certification of the 777-9 is also outstanding. Nothing official has been said in detail, but changes to the airplane demanded by regulators may require engineering work.

Turning the corner

Meanwhile, Boeing is on the verge of turning the corner, its chief financial officer said last week. But there are still challenges ahead before it does.

Brian West, CFO of The Boeing Co., told a Goldman Sachs investors day on May 11 that he agreed with host Noah Poponak that it’s been a “tough couple of years” for Boeing. “It has not been easy for customers or shareholders. Some of the issues, we control. Some of the issues we don’t control. But I will tell you, we are on the verge of turning the corner. Once we do, Boeing is going to do what Boeing does best, which is deliver great airplanes and defense products for our customers.”

But the climb is still uphill. The crest may be getting closer, but deliveries of the cash cow, the 737 MAX, remain constrained. Deliveries of the 787 are still suspended. Supply chain issues and the continued inaction by China to allow MAX deliveries to resume affect the 737 recovery. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hasn’t yet given authority to resume deliveries of the 787. (Twitter chatter now suggests 787 deliveries may resume in June.)

West said he recently visited St. Louis, where Boeing’s defense business is concentrated. He met with 100 engineers. “They’ve got faith and the things they were taking me through blew me away, the things they were working on. This company has been around for a very, very long time. They’ve gotten through difficult periods. We’re going to get through this period, and I believe, come out better and stronger.”

“While we know we’ve got more work to do, I would say that the feeling is confident,” West told Poponak. West said he hopes China will begin taking MAXes, the supply chain bottleneck will ease, and 787 deliveries resume this year.

132 Comments on “Pontifications: Boeing spending millions to retain engineers

  1. “It’s a reversal of efforts to trim SPEEA ranks through early buyouts and outsourcing and to address an aging workforce.”

    For all the smoke and mirrors, bait and switch games that have been played – this is probably the best news that one could hope to hear. It’s essentially an investment by BA into the company (and an admission) that the slash and burn tactics have failed the decision makers. It’s a call for competent people to start making decisions about aircraft there.

    Definitely a step in the right direction.

    “(Twitter chatter now suggests 787 deliveries may resume in June.)”

    I heard this bandied about elsewhere and when I asked the poster who was actually posting it – he said some guy from FB & Twitter. I then asked if he was related to the likes of the Seattle Times, Aviation Week, Flight Global or Leeham and he said no – he’s just some guy.

    Colour me a little skeptical here, especially since the FAA just sent back the 787 homework submitted an INCL.

    But who knows, maybe he’s some FAA insider who couldn’t wait to leak some news, maybe he’s some guy trying to drive up BA stock to make a few bucks or maybe he’s just some quack in the vein of the Qanon crowd – claiming Kelly Johnson is still alive and will be revealed as the head of engineering at Boeing.

    Anyways – the claim was the first week of June, which is 14 days away. We’ll find out soon enough…

    • 787 submission requested more info on one topic. Sources say not a major problem in restarting 787 deliveries, may cause a slight delay but won’t affect too much and not a major issue for Boeing to provide the info

      • If you would be so kind as to produce a link to a reputable source, that would be wonderful. Thanks

        • We have been hearing the same message from BA insiders again and again: about to turn the corner …. soon, …. soon, just listen to us one more time!

          Went to take a look of the chat, who’s that guy? Nobody?? Every cat and dog nowadays can have a say. Was it posted before the latest setback from FAA?

          Oct 2021:

          -> Lufthansa first 787 route to Toronto will start on the 1st March 2022. First aircraft was due delivery Nov this year but now has been slipped to Dec. 4 more 787s are expected to be delivered next year; 1 Jan, 1 Feb, 1 March & 1 June. More updates to follow.



          • Suppose the metaphorical corner is turned tomorrow. What’s the difference? If cash flow swings positive it will all go to the shareholders in dividends and stock buy backs rather than investing in new products.
            The future of Boeing is not endangered by the Max or the 787, it’s endangered by the short sighted business philosophy of the GE finance clique running the place.

    • Frank:

      I think the June date for the 787 is real. I can’t say why, but as noted before, one of those indirect things that is in affect direct that resumption of delivery is very close. Kind of like you hear a screech of tires, metal on metal and, yep, there has been a car crash down at the intersection.

      Paperwork: As I understand it the whole package was not rejected, FAA wanted clarification or changed something in the details but not a complete and total put down per the former submital.

  2. Apparently B failed to provide adequate documentation to the FAA regarding remediation work for the 787 issues of shims, etc… yet is stating deliveries will resume in June?
    FAA is not amused and not likely to bend backwards to accommodate B.
    Perhaps that is why B is seeking to retain engineers – or are they archivists? –
    The optimistic statements from B are obviously manipulative of analysts – and the market – and it looks like more of the same.
    It seems unbelievable they are still over promising and under delivering.
    Scott, is it a systematic move to worsen perceptions in DC and thereby facilitate politically the breakup of commercial (with investor haircut) and military operations?

    • “Scott, is it a systematic move to worsen perceptions in DC and thereby facilitate politically the breakup of commercial (with investor haircut) and military operations?”

      I’m on the same page with you here, but I think it’s more along the lines of the C-Suite thinking that BA is too big to fail, thus they can wrangle a GM style bailout from Uncle Sam. By moving HQ to the DC area, they can be right next to the trough and the decision makers can be brought in to get all warm and cozy with the current group of managers, so that they can work at not getting axed when the bailout comes.

      If you come into my office and I ask you for $30 billion, then I offer to scratch your back in return – how can the favour be returned and our agreement honoured, if I’m not in the same place I was, when I made the deal? You needed to keep me in place, otherwise now you gotta cut a deal with the new guy, sitting in the top seat…

      • DT:

        Optimistic gets Boeing nothing these days, investors are waiting for real performance and details

        Even then I think they have assessed Boeing as not growth oriented (unless its in regards to the defense end).

      • I can’t read the Bloomberg article, Boeing is not publicly saying that June is possible.

        Its very possible that there is clarity needed for aspects of the re-cert and or a procedure that is unclear or on the right track but more of a process needed.

        Much like the grounding issues on the MAX, the FAA needed more support documentation not the process and approach overall.

      • Just select a new Boeing HQ opposite the Lockheed Martin HQ in Bethesda or somewhere between Northrop Grumman HQ in Falls Church and General Dynamics HQ in West Falls Church .

      • Frank:

        I don’t think its a move other that keeping up with the Jones.

        Chicago was stupid as its no where as far as defense or BCA goes.

        The only real affect would be defense. The FAA managers Boeing in the N.W. district.

        If Boeing went down, the US would see to it not failing but I could go through bankruptcy, clean the debts, all the shares go in the toilet and they are extremely viable (they don’t meet the requirement for going Bankrupt though)

        Really its about the defense side and its a two edged sword where they can also beat up on you for failing to meet contract (KC-46A )

        I just don’t see it as having any affect other than getting out of the stickT and a bit warmer in the winter with less wind.

      • There’s a scathing article at FT about Boeing.

        -> “[…] The only way it will catch up on Airbus’ lead is to ditch the short-termism of previous management and invest in a new aircraft that offers greater benefits than those of its rival.

        To do that, Boeing may need to launch an huge fundraising. With debt at $45bn, versus Airbus’ net cash, the US company is not in a position to invest the $10bn that would be required for a new jet.

        The company insists a rights issue is not on the cards. But some analysts estimate Boeing could require $20bn or more to manage its current challenges and take on Airbus with a new aircraft. That would rank among the largest equity fund raisings in history. Investors are unlikely to foot the bill without extracting a price. […]”

        • And even then, perhaps Airbus’ leadership would not be achieved. A new aircraft would take a lot of time, and certainly Airbus would not passively watch its rival’s actions.

        • And even then, perhaps Airbus’ leadership would not be achieved. A new aircraft would take a lot of time, and certainly Airbus would not passively watch its rival’s actions. Without the pressure that Boeing is under, Airbus would have enough time to respond to Boeing’s new project, whatever it may be.

        • Scathing articles about Boeing are popping out of the woodwork these days…breeding like rabbits. If you filled a room with monkeys and typewriters you would immediately get several dozen Scathing articles about Boeing….all of them deserved.

          • Agreed.

            The question is does Airbus really need to respond to Boeing?

  3. So they were trying to push out of US-based engineers because they were too expensive and counting on JV with Embraer to basically allow to outsource engineering work to Brazil? That’s … exactly what I would expect Boeing to do and I hope karma bites them in the arse hard.

    • I’ll be interesting to follow this development (Boeing retaining engineers and the like) to see how much is real, and how much the usual. Hoping it’s the former.

      • Agreed, its one of those items that indicates that there is a shift in thinking but as you noted, stay tuned, see what happens in a month – 6 months.

  4. Is this a joke?
    This from the same company that just 16 months ago was spending millions to get rid of experienced engineers and professionals.
    This from the same company where the current engineering cannot even produce the correct certification documents to the FAA for the 787… a program that’s now 20 years old.
    This from the same company that cannot get current engineering critical programs on track e.g. 777X, mad max 7 and 10.
    The same company that devastated their research engineering programs.
    The same company that outsourced cheap engineering talent with the Moscow design center. Don’t you find it interesting we hear nothing about what’s happening with that?
    The same company that just 9 years ago moved all of the service engineering out of Puget Sound simply because McNerney hated the new SPEEA contract and wanted non union engineering. The same engineers with years of experience were forced to re-apply for the same jobs in Long Beach.
    The same company STILL trying to figure out their space program in Florida, now over three years delayed.
    Personally I don’t think it’s a money issue but rather they’ve hired incompetent people and using DIE as the consensus to put these incompetent people in positions that goes no where.
    Sure, I’ll take the money but it doesn’t help with my morale when I have an idiot for a manager.
    And now let’s move the company headquarters to WDC….. yeah that will fix everything.
    Hang on people…. The show is just getting started.

    • Well said, couldn’t agree more.
      Boeing really has “lost their way.”
      And, moving to DC — that is an awful long way from their roots, and much closer to the proverbial ‘industrial war machine money pit.’

  5. “May require engineering work ”
    I take it that this doesn’t mean software engineering?

    • At lest not in the sense its controls related.

      One of the issues was that the automatic shims build system which would be software related but kind of a ????? as if the system had garbage in it would have put out the wrong shim and doing what it was supposed to.

      The Shim issues themselves are mechanical (and also keep in mind the other issues with the adhesive release or whatever it was.)

    • There’s not much point in taking anything DoL says too seriously, he is a very straightforward capitalist he never says anything that isn’t about obtaining the cheapest price.

    • @Transworld

      Not. Going. To. Happen.
      The club will stay entrenched. These executives are above the fray.

      • > Not. Going. To. Happen.
        The club will stay entrenched. These executives are above the fray.

        Structural™ issues. I think Airdoc has this right, at least until the Titanic goes all the way down (built in?) .

        • Airdoc:

          You may well have the right of it and I the wrong.

          I guess if I did not have hope I would become despondent.

          Logic says at some point, loss upon loss and messed up program upon messed up program and something will change.

          You can’t get dividends let alone do share buy backs out of a Turnip as it were.

      • “They are losing market share hand over fist to Airbus and don’t seem to be responding appropriately.” MOL

  6. Does anyone happen to know how many 787s Boeing must deliver in order to break even on that program?

    The A330neo still seems to me to have been a wise move from Airbus; it didn’t cost much, and foreclosed some easy moves by the other guys.

    A final thought: I wonder if the 787 docs that the FAA are asking for exist, or not. BCA has has
    plenty of time to produce them, I think.

    • Program costs approx. 25 billion US dollars.
      10 million profit per plane = 2500 aircraft

      If the costs at $ 30 billion and the winnings per plane have been 5 milllions so far, it would be 6,000 aircraft.

      • Thanks for the estimate. I was thinking that number was lower, but The Lord (and Program Accounting, it seems) works in mysterious ways.

      • Only 10 million per plane? I thought it was much more.

        • All:

          There is something like 1000 delivered and they cut 30% off the (previous) debt.

          Add in another 5 Billion?

          In short, never. I can see 2000 x 787 over time, maybe 2500, 3000? No.

          They are cash positive when they make a delivery but that retires the debt not add to profits.

          And at some point it needs a NEO.

    • I agree regards the a330neo… Very well understood and comparably efficient aircraft; especially considering it’s ‘old tech’. I’m keen for AB to ditch the ceo and move their MRTT/Cargo base frame over to the neo. It’s gonna happen… Get on with it and jump forward. In terms of passenger model… Mind boggles why it’s not more popular.

      • Dr. FS:

        An A330MRT NEO would have to be re-certified. It might well get caught up in some of the regulatory issues of older air-frames.

        While an A330NEO-900 F might make sense, there is a lot of A330NEO-300 feed stock to draw from.

        Odd Airbus should miss the CEO F being a -200 and not a -300.

        Oddly, at least for the KC-46A, Boeing updated the cockpit to the 787 displays and controls (no more steam gauges)

        Airbus still has to deliver a number of the A330MRT and you can’t change that horse in mid stream. Cost is an aspect of chaning to NEO when competing (if) against the KC-46A.

        I just do not see the MRT being changed to an NEO airframe.

          • Duke:

            There will be system changes and it still has to be certified with your changed wing and engines.

            LM has no chance, did not before and the writing is on the wall, KC-46A forever!

            After the F-35 who would want to give LM another major contract?

          • Certification would probably be a 1 month job, as it would be based on previous A330 ( and even wing performance from the NEO) certification. Any requirements can be met by a few test points rather than start from scratch program

            Minor changes, weight increases etc are made all the time for airliners. Theres more fuel in belly tanks ( which I dont think the A330 MRTT has) and many other small things.
            Theres plenty of time for an existing plane to have the USAF upgrades and so on validated. Boeings early tanker prototypes had no refuelling system at all as they were aerodynamics only. Airbus can supply a fully functioning refuelling airframe ( with wing twist !) from very early for any aerodynamic testing .

            I dont think you want to raise previous contract performance as a ‘Boeing advantage ‘. The F-35 you seem to admire when it suits . But of course LM is offering a paper plane thats never flown, but a development of existing tanker

          • Duke:

            When Boeing converted the 777-200ER they had to do a whole test program.

            So no, its not slam dunk as they need to do the cargo conversion, decide on the door (the A330MRT does not have one etc)

            Simply put, I think you are totally wrong

        • Yes. Theres some interesting snippets for the LNA backgrounder

          ‘With a wingspan of 64m versus the 61m of the 787, the A330neo wing now has a higher aspect ratio than the 787’s wing.’

          And the long thin wing of the 787 was when it rolled out was quite an advantage.

          And as seems common nowadays space is further maximised
          ‘By moving the pilot crew rest to a common crew rest and introducing new lavatories with smaller footprints, the A330neo cabin can take up to 10 passengers more than the A330ceo cabin at equal seating and comfort standards.’

          Taking the two bunk pilots only area behind the cockpit away for a common 8 bed lower deck module might not be popular with some long haul captains ( some airlines use ‘2nd officers’ as monitoring crew only for the long cruise phase)

    • Break even?

      They declared a loss on the program back in Q4/21. That ship has sailed. By definition, it is a loss making program.

      Can they break even, from here on out? Lot’s of moving parts;

      1) The DPB is around $13 billion, now.
      2) The accounting block is 1500, with 1000 delivered.
      3) Deliveries are going to be a trickle, not a rush, for the near future
      4) Interest expense, maintenance and low production rates cut into the margins

      There will be another write off to the program, coming

      • “..Can they break even, from here on out? Lot’s of moving parts;
        1) The DPB is around $13 billion, now.
        2) The accounting block is 1500, with 1000 delivered.
        3) Deliveries are going to be a trickle, not a rush, for the near future
        4) Interest expense, maintenance and low production rates cut into the margins
        There will be another write off to the program, coming ”

        Thanks for all that info, Frank.

        • Frank:

          I thought it was more like 20 billion left, could be wrong of course.

          Add in the current delays and we are back to 20 billion.

          • If I’m not mistaken, it was around $17 billion, when BA decided that this amount was too much to be covered under the accounting block, so they trimmed it by $3.5 billion by declaring that amount to be unrecoverable – i.e. a loss on the program.

            But yes, it will have climbed again, due to the latest delays.

  7. “West said he hopes China will begin taking MAXes, the supply chain bottleneck will ease, and 787 deliveries resume this year.”

    Mmm. I “hope” Santa shows up this year, too..

    Strange language from Boeing’s CFO, at first glance anyway. 😉

    • I think its possible, but wishful thinking gets you no where.

      Flip is if they are actually realizing the bottom they are at, its better for the future.

    • On the China subject, it’s being reported that the black boxes are indicating intentional pilot crash, on that 737-800

      • That was my view was that reinforced by the fact that the output from the NTSB is delayed. The flight profile had all the hallmarks of pilot induced and none of the alternatives .

        China will be most unhappy with that outcome, egg on their face.

        My sympathies are with the people in the aircraft and their survivor family members.

  8. Well I went 8 years with no raise doing steady and at times exemplary to outstanding work.

    I sent my own Exit Interview into the company, all managers and the HR department. Never got a response (all polite and listing issues)

    They let 40 years of tech ability as well as site knowledge just walk away.

    There were few people that worked, some good narrow tech (welding) but no interest in learning anymore. I knew Janitors that worked harder than their average worker. Some worked not at all and the worst one got the last big raise.

    Just before I quit, I was thrown under a bus for something another department did (Kangaroo court, tried and convicted despite being there)

    In their case, they pay a heck of a lot more going from one disaster to another that is easily avoided.

    Previous job I knew a guy who allowed 100,000 in batteries burn up. Brave new world.

    Quitting was the best thing I ever did. How long before we devolve to 3rd world status?

    • The value these beancounters put on experience is zero. They figure that any non-executive take is peon work that can be done by anyone hired from Burger King with a two week training course. They are happy when a downturn gives them an opportunity to jettison high cost labor (experience) and at the next upturn they will fill the place with 22 year old engineers and mechanics plucked from Walmart.
      Just saying they don’t value experience.

      • John:

        That is changing, but in some cases they will not admit their screw ups, revenge is more important (so they think) and zero contact.

        They pay of course but its hidden in the overall costs and one blip like mine does not show up when they blow 100s of millions.

        As we were contract employees, manager hated me and was a narcissist, no chance unless they can the company (should) and the FedEx manager willing to over look my indiscretion of just walking out with no notice. I doubt it.

        Covering up major screw ups was the norm. Not just the usually, horribly toxic. They setup an office administrator that was logging their illegal billing. She had the ammo and they paid big bucks to get rid of her.

        Good for her, me? I had ammo but needed to be there and as no contact when I left, you know where that went. Not worth the stress to fin out.

        Interesting was they created a 1-800 hotline to report bad things. Usually was you had to go to manager or HR. This was suppose3d to be a non traceable (not on trusted it of course)

        One of the former crew calls once in a while, same o same o. When people are messing with illegal billing, that is a felony and under the rug it goes.

      • Bloomberg

        Boeing’s Top Chinese Customer Removes 737 Max From Fleet Plans

        • Just when the first production models of the C919 are being tested.
          It would be so sad, if the supply of Leap-1C engines just stopped.

          • In that case, the Chinese companies could cancel all pending orders for planes with Leap engines and keep only those from Airbus that use Pratt & Whitney. I’m sure this solution would be much sadder for GE and Sanfran.

          • Maybe . But that could be another 15 years while development of their own engine is into service. And the C919 is going nowhere during that time. The ARJ21 also uses a GE engine.
            Pratt and Whitney is a major US defence engine builder and may not want to go against ‘national priorities’

          • I’m curious Duke – why would CFM not want to ship engines to China?

            ‘national priorities’? Really?

            These are corporations we’re talking about – right? In the civilian aviation market, not even in the defense sector.

            Yah, sure – let me cut into the sales of the company by not shipping engines to clients who want them and are willing to pay for them, because of ‘national priorities’. Especially when my compensation is linked to how well my company is doing, selling these things.

            What world do you live in?

            The only way this ever happens is if it gets legislated. But then again, I could easily see Safran selling the engines to China, which has 50% of the program.

          • https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-aircraft-idUKKBN2090SG
            Surely you are aware of concerns about supply of latest technology to nation state competitors.
            AVIC is a wholly state owned enterprise and theres all that government aid thing which has been a long running battle with Airbus.
            Trade imbalances with China have more recently been major political concerns in Washington. Not buying US products ? I dont think so especially since China has been playing the game of blocking trade based on ‘national concerns’ with other countries. Im sure theres a proverb about that you can give us on that.

            Your understanding of CFM and how the construction of each partners share is handled is remiss. There is final assembly lines in each country , yes. But manufacture of each engine is in simple terms half under Safran and half under GE. Supply half an engine is not what any plane makers wants

          • From that article you provided:

            “The issue is expected to come up at an interagency meeting about how strictly to limit exports of U.S. technology to China on Thursday and at another meeting with members of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet set for Feb. 28, sources said.”

            You have anything more recent, since that was the admin that started the ‘easy to win’ trade war? The Trump admin is so 2020/Storm the Capitol…

            and also from the article:

            “If the United States were to move ahead with the measure, one person familiar with the matter said, China could retaliate by ordering more planes from Airbus SE, rather than crisis-hit Boeing, which relies on China for a fourth its deliveries.”

            Exactly what Ricardo said.

            Since: 787’s are over a year past due, the 777X is due in 2025 (Don’t think China even has one on order, or do they?) and the 737 Max – well, all of China can walk away from their orders…

            25% of BA’s deliveries.

            On a side note:

            (only in the Trump admin)

            “People familiar with the matter said some administration officials are concerned the Chinese could reverse engineer some items, though others say an abundance of LEAP engines in China has not brought that about to date.”

            Trump Admin: We can’t sell them engines, they might reverse engineer it!
            Someone with knowledge: (sigh) We’ve been selling them the engine for years on the Max and Airbus has been selling them the engine on the A320Neo family. Besides, it’s not that easy.
            Trump Admin: What? No one told us that! Who knew??
            Someone: Uhhhh…the world?

          • Some weird twisted thinking and statement on engine going to Airbus and not Boeing and none going to China.

            Ok, tech aspect missed by non tech types.

            So, lets talk fan blades.

            Its not about the metals. Its how each was treated prior to and then during mfg. You have to inven the mahcinry that made the blade and then you spend 20 years figiug out how the blade was heat treated and condtioned to get it where it is.

            Egenif you get that far, you have to then figuure out how to indualizie the process.

            Now, do that 1000 times as you have to do it for each part.

            China does not make its own chip mfg equipment nor the software. They buy it from the US (exports to Russia was down as they loose the US on that they have nothing)

            That is why China hacks or buys US mfg, they get the entire process as to what, when, where and how.

            We see how well they have done. Their jet engines do not stand up, the 919 is not going to see the first delivery until 2023 (and 20 year old tech), the 929 is now stopped.

  9. Boeing is right now actively running an engineer hiring campaign in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil.

    • And formally they had Soviets in Everett under a familiarization program that went on and on until they got caught.

      Boeing engineers might have something to say about that all now!

    • Plane maker includes its major airline customers in development of new or improved models ?

      That ‘plane left the runway’ very early in commercial aviation history. Its a business to business product , you are always going to have a lot of the details run past your trusted customers first.
      Doesnt mean that senior management on both sides were orchestrating such tricks to pull the wool over FAA eyes.

      • There are definitely some who don’t want the truth to come out, continue to spread misinformation and disinformation.

        • You may want to check back on your claims ( I have) about the
          initial story on China Eastern 737 crash

          ‘Paid propaganda. Sigh.” was amoung your responses to those suggestions it was a pilot issue ( a possible cause even at an early phase)
          Glasshouses and such things

    • bilbo:

      From the flight profile it always did.

      Harsh as it is, would it be better the 737 was at fault?

      I have always tried to offer alternative ideas to a problem, but I am at a complete loss as to how to deal with a pilot suicide.

      Also harsh, was one pilot allowed in the cockpit and did the other pilot get lured/sent out.

      US Policy is to have at least a Flight Attendant in the cockpit if both pilots can’t be (dealing with a bad passenger). I believe the attendant has to have some flight familiarity.

      Its a terrible area of study, as far as I know for an LCA, there have been no suicides. Flip is we have had drunks at lest try to fly as well as one case of a pilot going psychotic but did not do so in a manner that manifested in a direct attempt (they got control of him and landed ASAP)

      It wold bring something to the table to see flight number in the US vs rest of world and maybe a ref to distance to equalize the data (flight number might be good relevance though)

      • Bad phrasing, no suicide I know of in the US.

        Egyptian Air was one off the US Coast.

    • It looks like controlled flight into terrain. So there could have been a cockpit intruder. But I think they are looking at the co-pilot.

    • “looks like” based on anonymous and likely *interested* sources hardly qualifies as evidence.

      But that’s how it goes on this here internet:
      seed this idea and that via a few “sources
      familiar™ with the investigation”, and deem
      it conclusive evidence..


      • Numerous reports, Reuters, etc… Their reporters have access to spokespersons st the FAA. I too am a skeptic, but not necessarily about the evidence uncovered about Flight MU5375.

  10. I think lack of human resources (& all its consequences for work loads, sick rates, delays, production stops) is a major topic now almost everywhere.

    • For sure, but what its taken to get to the point that we are not cowering workers (cannon fodder) and what its done to great companies like Boeing let alone piss ant operations like I worked for (granted we kept FedEx going)

      As noted, they just cover up the costs of the failures. The job I left due to failure on the batter maint and $100,000 up in smoke, but also the computer system they were the seamless backup power (Uninterruptible Power Supply) gone and it would have been 6 months to get the batteries if they were still making them. Each jar was like 3 feet high and 1.5 x 1.5 feet and they likely do not make them anymore. You only saw them on Subs and Telephone Exchange, good for 30 years if taken care of.

  11. This is a pretty good summation. I disagree how culpable Calhoun was (on the board since 2009 and did not know what was going on!! really)


    We can hope Calhoun is gone soon and Boeing gets an effective CEO. It may not get worse (can it?) but its not going to get better or new aircraft needed under the pillage school of management.

    • That WaPo piece is interesting, not necessarily for its
      content, but for where it’s appearing: WaPo is owned
      by one of the World’s Richest Persons, and that very small club does not usually “diss” its own members.

      Lots of perception management (and downgrading of
      expectations amongst the citizenry) going one these days.

      • Bezos says he doesnt interfere in the editors and journalists judgments.
        His interest was to expand it as a business and to make money, which has happened since 2013 when he bought the enterprise. he mainly just thought the very long term ( MAYBE HE COULD BUY BOEING OR AT LEAST ITS COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE DIVISION)

        But I think Seattles papers are the outstanding ones in for Boeing coverage

        • Reality is that sometimes one big bucks ops counters another.

          You always have to sift info from a news source, but WaPo does a good job even if you don’t like Brazos.

          Seattle times has good coverage on Boeing but not as touch in SC.

        • It’s a Bloomberg Opinion piece for God sake. Not by a WaPo columnist.

  12. The value these beancounters put on experience is zero. They figure that any non-executive take is peon work that can be done by anyone hired from Burger King with a two week training course. They are happy when a downturn gives them an opportunity to jettison high cost labor (experience) and at the next upturn they will fill the place with 22 year old engineers and mechanics plucked from Walmart.
    Just saying they don’t value experience.

    • A total of 150 only (including option of 100)? Only because of “substantial discount” offered??

      • If they got the same price, that was agreed to in the MOU – during the grounding, when everyone was walking away from BA, then ya, they prolly got a great price. Something Willie Walsh couldn’t say no to…

  13. DoU said: “..But of course LM is offering a paper plane thats never flown, but a development of existing tanker.”

    Is that accurate?

      • The Earth shakes, fully agreed with Scott, what is the world coming to?

        The A330MRT is clearly fully capable tanker that is currently better than the KC-46A at tanking.

        What it lacks is the secret build equipment the USAF specified for the KC-Y program. Also an assembly line in the US.

        That said, the time line they are asking for is not attainable for putting it all together. Yes they could do it, what kind of development and issues would occur none of us knows. There is always some.

        So, for a KC-45A, call it 2030 at the soonest I think is valid and ramp up is??????

        Flip is, by 2025 Boeing could increase the KC-46A deliveries probably by 2 -4 a month (guessing).

        USAF gets (fingers crossed) fully viable tankers in large numbers (retiring some KC-135R despite the claim we don’t have enough tankers??????

        Back to the base question, is it better to have a lot of KC-46A in the hand and commonality of the parts vs a somewhat more capability fueling wise KC-45A?

        Keeping in mind we do have allies that fly the A330MRT and could and would help out. Sadly one of those is not capable of a boom operation.

        • What secret build equipment ?
          Maybe you mean this which isnt even part of the existing KC-45 production
          ‘As an initial step in this new phase, communications “pods” will be designed and purchased and installed on a select number of KC-46 Pegasus tankers. Designers liken the “pods” to internet hotspots ….’

          So yet to be shown as workable in flight test, but its a first steps for a system they have a lot of faith in ( which what they always say too)
          Clearly a large airframe like KC-45 or A330 can handle the extra wing pods and the associated electronics hardware ( likely below deck in areas set aside for the everyday flight systems and power supplies )
          Anything else the USAF requires for its standard comms over and above that for Nato allies might only be additional modules/software in existing military comms hardware

          • Duke:

            As always you ignore the fact that there is a top secret spec of equipment on the KC-46A.

            Airbus is qualified (cleared) to see it. You are not.

            Ergo, Airbus has never built an A330MRT to USAF spec and you see them adding bits and pieces as required by S. Kore and Saudi etc as time goes on. Clearly all involved see it more than a tanker.

            But until you put in the exact specified equipment you don’t know an it never goes exactly as planned. You know that too

          • I havent ignored , you just wave a wand ‘top secret’ when its just minor communications hardware if that. Lockheed can handle all that install.
            The MRTT already serves the Nato members who carry US nuclear weapons for their strike aircraft and ‘maybe ‘ need to have a higher level of security that requires for refuelling.
            Find out more about this to inform us better rather than some dubious claims
            Ive already given links for the upcoming ‘battle management’ system which will require ‘pods’ for the KC-46 but isnt operational yet.
            that wont be an ‘install problem’ either

    • I left out the ‘not’ paper plane ….a typo It was in the context of the long F-35 development which did start from scratch

  14. IAG is firming up its orders for the MAX, includes the -10 and 2000, 150 and also 100 options. Happy Boeing Seattle.

    Time to move the HG back to Everett!

    • Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company always has HQ in Seattle and with 60,000 plus working in Washington state it will remain so. ‘The Boeing Company’ HQ doesnt make the everyday decisions on the planes design and development
      A few hundred people in an HQ like that had for Chicago to give oversight and corporate functions for the other major divisions of Boeing as well

      Defense and Space a $25 bill business alone with 15,000 employees across many states but mostly Missouri and California but HQ next to Pentagon in Arlington
      Global Services a $16 bill business with 23,000 employees around the world and HQ in Dallas

      • Leeham has been talking about the next new jet program and possibilty of opening new FAL outside WA for awhile. Lol.

      • Defense

        2017 – $20,561 – 10.7% – $2,193
        2018 – $23,195 – 6.3% – $1,594
        2019 – $26,227 – 9.9% – $2,608
        2020 – $26,257 – 5.9% – $1,539
        2021 – $26,540 – 5.8% – $1,544

        Average margin 7.7% – $9,478 total earnings – $1,896 avg earnings


        2017 – $14,581 – 15.4% – $2,246
        2018 – $17,018 – 14.8% – $2,522
        2019 – $18,468- 14.6% – $2,697
        2020 -$15,543 – 2.9% – $450
        2021 – $16,328 – 12.4% – $2,017

        Average margin 12% – $9,932 total earnings – $1,986 avg earnings

        2020 killed services, like the rest of the airlines industry – but it still made a half billion.


        2017 – $58,014 – 9.4% – $5,452
        2018 – $60,715 – 13% – $7,879

        2019 & on – BCA dies. Negative earnings, negative margin.

        In Summary:

        Defense is 3rd in line, after Commercial and then Services, as far as contributing to the bottom line. The Services margin is better.

        But as we all know, BCA is the core business. That and Services drive the revenue and strong margins of the company.

        Maybe management just want to get as far away from the mess they made, as possible?

        • Calhoun is not McNanenry on his crusade against unions and social security. Yes he is a lawn ornament but he just wants money (not to be had these days though I guess he got his bonus for the MAX being back in the air – dang I wish I got bonus for just doing my job, back when I had a job)

          Ergo, the appeal of an assembly line outside of Everett would be low to non existent, lots of costs when you have to borrow money to fund the program.

          Making predictions based on the past is a poor way to go about things unless you consider the changes that have taken place. The past offers good averages of how things normally go but when you screw up something like the 787, that is a oddity off the end of the bell curve. It can hide in the averages.

          Everett has to be there and paid for (767 production can go on for 10-15 years with the KC-46A alone) and the 777X and or the 777F (yes I assume a work around of the 2027 deadline for 777CEO and 767) will maintain but lots of empty space.

          Build a whole new assembly plant and the costs incurred? Uhhhmmm

        • Frank:

          Data set should go back to the MD merger and you now offset the BCA losses and those averages go way way down.

          Not sure where the Rocket division goes, it puts up military and civie loads (mostly or all military now, AKA Space X is so low cost)

          I think Chicago is a Cow Town as Scott would put it. What I have seen is that none of the board members live there including Calhoun, they flew in for the meetings.

          Seattle only was the center because at one time it was the center. Another Cow Town (lumber actually ), nothing as Sophisticated as New York, Washington and SFO of course (its the Bridge that does it).

          Nothing more than they never liked Chicago. Dallas would make some sense, but sigh, its another Cow Town and really hot and you need backup generators.

          • “Data set should go back to the MD merger and you now offset the BCA losses and those averages go way way down.”

            That really has no bearing on the current situation BA finds itself in, looking at it from the financial side.

            The MD merger and subsequent acquisitions/divestures don’t give us a picture of what BA does today and IMO, the benchmark year they had in 2018, when they were at their financial zenith.

            As it stands, Boeing is built a certain way. BCA drives the company. If that is sick – the company is sick. Look at defense margin and %. It’s OK, but cannot support the corporation. The margin there doesn’t even cover the interest expense BA has to pay on it’s debt.

  15. Of course, the 10 still needs to be certified,!?
    Might explain why order includes 200s as an option, Justin case…. I guess Ryanair does NOT have an exclusive on these.

    • I’ll be closely watching the 737MAX-10 situation.
      It might be a bellwether, of sorts.

      • Or not. The regs were not intended to back-fit the MAX, nor did they take into account Covid.

        Take away MCAS or go with NG and the system worked as well as Airbus.

        Until they come up with real systems that work its all a bunch of flashing alarms ans screaming meemies at you

        The Qantas crew took (hour and a half?) to respond to all the alarms so tell me that is better when the A380 needed to be on the ground ASAP?

    • Even the military guys join the chorus. Time for heads to roll??

  16. Boeing MAX not ready to fly in China any time soon, airline says


    China Eastern Airlines (NYSE:CEA) dampens hopes for Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) 737 MAX to return to flight in Chinese skies any time soon, as the carrier on Friday outlined several steps needed before operating the plane again, including modifications to the aircraft and further pilot training.


    The China plot thickens. BA is going to rue the day that the ‘easy to win’ trade war was started…

    • Like everyone else they just want compensation for existing fleet and price reduction on the orders thay have.
      Theres a duopoly, the other supplier will ‘leave no rice in their bowl’ for them if they go knocking, and pleased to be at the end of the delivery queue

      • Well – I’m sure that with an increase to 75 a month on the A320Neo family and 14 a month on the A220 program, which will be here in two and a half years, slots will be opening up for sale.

        Yah – China play the long game. They’re going to stick it to the #1 US exporter in exchange for the ‘easy to win’ trade war that the previous admin started. Besides, I’m sure that Russia will be all too happy to sell them discounted oil, that the western nations aren’t able to buy, so using older jets for a few years isn’t the end of the world.

  17. Just a little afternoon update.

    The DOW/SP is down about 1.5%

    Airbus is up .8%

    Boeing is down 7% to $118.

    Is there a Friday night dump coming? After markets close, some are expecting bad news? The China stuff is already out.

      • Or the long delayed recognition that Boeing stock is worthless until (unless)) there are profits.

        The more it drops the more likely it is Boeing board does something drastic like hiring a CEO that understands the future depends on a New Aircraft and what is needed to get the BCA back on track.

        Calhoun is a combination of a place holder and only knows Pillaging so he ain’t it.

    • Well the edit function is working today consistently. Its software stuff so not holding my breath but maybe I can edit the sends regularly.

      Otherwise sometimes it works and sometimes not

  18. “Boeing is using raises, restricted stock, and incentive bonuses to keep engineers. Our contracts called for $7m in out-of-sequence raises last year and the company spent $22m.”

    The stock is going down — no upturn can be realistically expected any time soon.
    There’s not much cash to fund “raises” and “incentive bonuses”.
    Doesn’t sound like this plan has much chance of success.

    • “..and the company spent $22m.”

      What came to mind right away when reading that bit was that BCA spent just a touch more on raises for *all* their engineers (you know, the guys who actually design and implement stuff) than they paid their CEO for one year.

      Impressive™ !

      Something else is going on, I think.

  19. At this moment the Boeing CEB (Chief Executive Beancounter) has decided to pony up some $ to retain local engineering talent. I consider this nothing more than a temporary technical retreat in the long term war against labor. This has been largely forced by international events which have shut off Boeing access to non first world labor markets: Putin’s non-war in Ukraine and Boeing walking away from the Embraer joint venture, has forced Boeing to play nice with local talent….for the moment.
    Of course, it is just a question of time before the beancounters decide that most of this talent is too expensive and needs to be jettisoned.
    The top priority of Boeing executive management is not maximizing profit, and certainly not market share, it is minimizing costs….winning the war against labor, unions, vendors….if a few airplanes get built and delivered during the course of this war so much the better.
    ****************In the end, the cheapest plane is the one that is never built.

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