Pontifications: Tombstone mentalities and Fantasy Land

By Scott Hamilton


By Scott Hamilton

April 30, 2024, © Leeham News: David Calhoun, the CEO of The Boeing Co., put this right at the top of an employee message and the 1Q2024 earnings call last Wednesday:

“Since Jan. 5, more than 70,000 of you have participated in Quality Stand Downs across more than a dozen Boeing sites. From those, we’ve received more than 30,000 ideas on how we can improve. And this year, we’ve seen more than a 500% increase in employee Speak Up submissions compared to 2023. We are taking all ideas collected and prioritizing them as we further enhance our factory disciplines and overall quality standards. Our people know better than anyone the actions we must take to improve, and we are listening and acting on their feedback.”

It’s obviously a statement intended to assure everyone interested in Boeing that it’s taking positive steps to increase safety protocol and listen to employees.

I had two reactions.

First: Why was this necessary? Supposedly after the 2018-19 737 MA X crisis, Boeing upped its safety protocols, its employee Speak Up program, and it was forced into a new relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Jan. 5, 2024, accident involving Alaska Airlines flight 1282 made it crystal clear that the post-2019 MAX crisis changes were largely window dressing.

Second: Reading Calhoun’s statement reminded me of a long-held axiom in commercial aviation of what’s derisively called the Tombstone mentality. This is tied to the belief that the FAA doesn’t take drastic safety action until after someone dies in an accident.

Unfortunately, recent history renders this parallel to The Boeing Co.

Sadly, failure to assure safety is indeed Boeing’s No. 1 priority will go down as David Calhoun’s legacy as CEO of The Boeing Co.

Related articles:

Harsh failures

David Calhoun

The safety failures at Boeing Commercial Airplanes have been reported ad nauseam. No recounting is needed here. And since the 2018-19 MAX crisis, fixing this has been at the feet of David Calhoun. He became CEO in January 2020. But he was lead director before that and chairman from October through December 2019.

For all Boeing’s assertions that it took steps to fix its safety protocols, encourage employees to reach out, and eliminate retaliation or retribution, story after story emerges detailing how employees still fear for their jobs and careers.

Just two weeks ago alone, Boeing’s engineers union, SPEEA, alleged that Boeing retaliated against two employees, serving as FAA representatives, for raising production issues. Whistleblowers came forward questioning the production safety of the 777 and 787 and of production patterns in general. LNA reported that SPEEA and Boeing reached an impasse over how a new proposed safety program would be crafted.

Calhoun’s other performance

Calhoun took over the CEO position at a time when the company was in crisis. The MAX had been grounded for nine months, with no end in sight. (The grounding eventually consumed 21 months.) Three months after becoming CEO, the global COVID-19 pandemic hit. Governments around the world locked down societies. Commercial aviation travel ground to near-zero. Airlines and lessors deferred deliveries.

Boeing’s cash flow, already under stress because of the MAX grounding, was exacerbated. Then, in October 2020, Boeing suspended deliveries of the 787 for what turned out to be nearly 20 months because of production quality failures.

At the peak, Boeing had 450 737s and 115 787s assembled and stored, tying up billions of dollars in production costs, loss of cash flow, and loss of profits.

The lingering effects of the pandemic shutdown continue to this day. Suppliers (to Boeing and Airbus) at all levels have labor shortages. Quality control remains an issue with many of them. Following the departure of thousands of skilled workers at Boeing, new hires have learning curve challenges.

Boeing’s defense unit programs were in bad shape, too. The T-7 Red Hawk trainer, the unmanned MQ-25 aerial refueling tanker, the KC-46A manned aerial refueling tanker, the SLS space booster, the Starliner space capsule, and Air Force One 747-8 programs were all late and over budget, most by billions of dollars. Even legacy jet fighter programs were losing money.

Calhoun bemoans the fixed price contracts Boeing was awarded as the root cause of many of the losses. He has, on occasion, laid the blame on his predecessor, Dennis Muilenburg. But Calhoun’s position on the Board means ultimately, he shares the responsibility for approving these contracts.

And, Boeing has some $40bn in net debt to pay down.

(All of the above is why I disagree with those who advocate that Boeing launch a new airplane program sooner than later. I absolutely agree one is needed. But Boeing is nowhere near ready or in a position to proceed at this time.)

In addition to all this, Calhoun’s mission was also to restore Boeing’s tattered relationship with the FAA.

“Fantasy Land”

By almost every measure, it may be argued that Calhoun failed to live up to his mandate. Yet he is going to exit at year-end with a $34m payout.

Robert Stallard, the aerospace analyst with Vertical Research, perhaps summed it up best in his note last week about the 1Q2024 earnings release.

“Fantasy Land – If there has been one thing that has been consistent about Boeing over our many years of covering the company it has been its hopelessly optimistic timetables for improvement. We think this will again be the case with what has been set out today, with management seemingly nonchalant about the regulatory, political, legal, contractual, customer, competitive, supply chain, and internal employee pressures that it faces. Hopefully, a new management team will rebase expectations realistically, with a more humble view of the challenges Boeing faces,” he wrote.

The note was titled “Seven hundred and thirty seven problems”.




257 Comments on “Pontifications: Tombstone mentalities and Fantasy Land

  1. The recently released balance sheet is pathetic. One of the many great bits of advice my favorite accounting professor used to state was that “no good ever came from booking goodwill.” Since the rules are that an asset should be carried on the books at lower of cost or market, and goodwill cannot be depreciated, it should be just taken off the books. That’s yet another $8 billion in “assets” that aren’t real. Then there is another $2.09+ billion in “other intangibles.” I wonder what the lower of cost or market is on those. There is the mid-statement footnote (a curious method of presentation) that shows AR turnover of $7 billion, which is probably a fair measure of the actual volume of business being done. Then on top of the $46.9 billion in long term debt, they announced earlier today that they are going to try to sell another $30 billion worth of bonds (I wonder who they think will buy them).

    The company has been bankrupt per GAAP for at least a decade, and it would now appear to be rapidly approaching insolvency. The debt offering has to be a last gasp effort to delay that. Well, the supplemental executive retirement benefit program will mostly likely soon take a hit.

    As for when they announce that they can’t make payroll – wanna bet they don’t make it to the end of the summer?

    • RTF:

      I don’t see they are in that degree of extremis.

      The best thing would be to go into bankkuprcys. The great part of that is all the stock is only good for toilet paper.

      Anyone who has not sold it deserves to get left high and dry.

    • Scott wrote that Calhoun plans to “exit” at the end of the year with a $34m payout.
      Calhoun is resigning as CEO but plans to remain on the board.
      He may still have enough allies on the board to control the company, especially if his preferred candidate, Pope, is elevated to CEO.

      • This is a very important point, IMO; thanks for pointing it out. Remember, Calhoun is “ex” Blackstone..

        hidden hand

        • I don’t follow the situations with Boards normally, has any CEO been ousted and kept on other boards?

          • The question is, to what extent was he ousted and to what extent did he voluntarily resign as CEO? His spin on it was that it was 100% his idea.
            Rather than complete surrender, this looks to be a strategic retreat. If he had done nothing he risked irate airline customers forcing the board to sack him, which may have made remaining on the board untenable. Volunteering to leave in 9 months may have helped retain his seat on the board.
            All I know is that I read he plans to stay on the board.

    • They (Boeing) keep stating that they have ~$10B in untapped credit facilities that they can tap into. So, that should carry them through at least Christmas, right??

    • My reaction was “there are that many problems that employees are identifying?” That’s not reassuring at all.

      • Or the glass half full that employees are coming out now they think they are safe!

        • “… they think they are safe!”

          Some recent premature terminations of life would speak against that. ( is it two or already three now? )

  2. It seems the good old times are indeed history in this sad tale. Boeing has apparently given up even on the tombstone mentality, as even the two MAX crashes haven’t convinced them to improve at least a little.
    My impression is rather the opposite, that the commercial pressure from the long grounding and production halts have further eroded focusing on quality.
    Now, having +30,000 suggestions shows how dire the situation must be, and I wonder how that gigantic tasks to implement just a fraction of those can be achieved.

    • Matth:

      I do not see that Boeing management every had any focus on quality.

      All was focused on forcing up production while totally ignoring the need for a good safe build operation to ensure that product was correct out the door.

      They slathered over the issues and kept spinning BS.

      In this case its tofu as real BS can be used to grow things.

  3. Not sure how much debt they can pay back anytime soon…..they just issued bonds worth another $10 billion in debt rated just above “junk”……

    Completely agree they simply don’t have the funds to launch a new airplane program anytime soon. They need to get the B737MAX in order ASAP and finally certify the B777-9. Despite all of the turbulence the B737MAX program still has 4,800 aircraft orders to be filled and its not like Airbus can produce more aircraft to “steal” market share from Boeing. It’s also not like the Chinese could possibly build enough to fill the void nor do I think FAA nor EASA will easily certify anything made by Comac. The cash cow is the B737MAX and the one that program needs to be fixed immediately.

    I would hope the B797 is also dead as can be. Great design technologically but way too expensive being designed from a clean sheet to compete in a thin market segment against a far less expensive derivative aircraft. If Boeing really wanted to compete in that segment they could come up with something like the original B787-3 or could come up with something along the lines of a B757MAX with new wing / engines / avionics / systems. Either option would be far cheaper to develop being certified as a derivative.

    • Certifying the 777-9 might not be too high up on their priorities, cos when they then ramp up the production for this aircraft, it will most likely incur a further cash drain before it becomes cash positive.

      • Their is an irony that as long as 777X is uncertified, Boeing does not have to declare an accounting block, which theoretically would drive a write-off depending on the sales projection.

    • I seriously doubt EASA would allow Boeing to grandfather a 757MAX instead of certifying it with todays regulations.

      • 757 is never going to be resurrected so its not worth discussion.

    • A new aircraft has to be min 15% cheaper per seat mile in operations for airlines to order and pay. The other reason is if the older model is not sold due no emissions not in compliance. (767F). Boeing also want to minimize touch labour and its negotiations/strikes. So the X-66A wing/engine trials might get them close to launch and a simplified cheaper 787 system might be the quickest way forward. So that leaves the tube and some equipment like MLG/NLG remaining to decide suppliers on. If they buy Spirit it reduces the supplier options to mainly Liebherr or RTX for the rest (non 787 boxes). We will see after 737MAX’es and 777-9/-F certifications

  4. It is not that easy to have 5-7 layers of managers refocus on quality and making employees, suppliers and customers happy while loosing money. It will take a new manager time and skill to get a “Toyota Boeing” setup. The key is still a new narrowbody produced mainly with robots in volume with high quality and low cost. Maybe Warren Buffet can borrow Boeing the $25bn required with a handpicked new organisation mainly from SpaceX?

      • I think there are two answers to SpaceX. I cannot speak to their OSHA onsite safety record.

        But they single-handedly reset the launch industry, and i think that is where the comment came from.

      • Claes:

        The key is not Robots. This is not building a car where the robot can do 100K of its ops and be paid off.

        Equally you would have to re-design the MAX to be buildable by Robots. It hot happening. There is nothing wrong with the MAX build system, its how the system is being failed by management that is the issue.

        As for Space X, I have no idea what the internals are like, but they have taken the rocket business by storm and have an extremly high success with not just launches but bringing back the lower sections to be re-used and that was said to be impossible.

        • I was discussing how Boeing can be competetive and reduce manhrs to build a new jetliner. You can achive it by a combination of a new aircraft with carbon wings with a new engine with final assembly done by robots to over 75%. Hence to reference to Space X fast working with skilled staff pressed hard to do all the iterative designs to a working system. Just compare the Space X Dragon on the Falcon 9 vs. Boeing Starliner on a Atlas V in time to market and cost. I do not claim Elon should be at Boeing just his cheif engineers.

          • I guess I don’t get it.

            Boeing needs to correct its current system that would be working if it was being done right.

            Any future aspects are for the future. If they can’t build within a good system they can’t handle future.

            It does not start at BCA level, it is at the board and CEO level that the fix has to start.

            Best engineers in the world can’t do anything if their hands are tied behind their backs with a crud system in place.

      • I’m sure NASA and ULA’s safety record is much better than SpaceX’s, but then again those organizations are not actually making anything useful.

        • Well NASA in its arrogance was the enabler for two space shuttle losses.

          Space X has not killed anyone yet.

          ULA worked fine, costly and it used Russian Rockets in a pathetic state of affairs.

          ULA does make useful stuff as they still put important things into orbit.

  5. “I absolutely agree one is needed. But Boeing is nowhere near ready or in a position to proceed at this time.”

    So the solution is clear, surely. However it gets done (and I’ve said before I’m a “buy the assets, not the company” person) the US government needs to help in bringing one or more parties with plenty of cash together with Boeing’s bosses/shareholders and some genuinely suitable and smart new management to work out takeovers, diverstitures, partnerships, whatever is best for US economic/strategic wellbeing ASAP. You can’t kick the tin can down the road forever because the road does end somewhere.

    • @Woody

      There is nothing good that comes from NOT launching anything new before the end of the decade (or whenever Boeing thinks they could wittle away their debt). Development programs need a lot of resources and funds, and I doubt Boeing will be in any better position to launch 2-3 programs at once. At the very least something needs to launch as soon as the 777X and Max7 and Max10 certify.

      I really do think they need to form a partnership with another airframer that is not currently making large civil aircraft. Lockheed / Northrop come to mind as companies that could participate. Not sure Embraer would help Boeing now.

      • Why would another airframer form a partnership with Boeing?
        Boeing has absolutley nothing to bring to the table.

        • It would be a new entry into commerical aircraft production and expanding their product portfolio without the risk of entering on their own. There are only so many defense opportunities. Boeing offers a seat at the table.

          Bombardier’s big mistake was entering without Airbus or Boeing. They probably would still be in business (at the airliner side) if they could have done that.

          • “Getting a seat at the table” is not worth sharing in $40B of net debt, 5 years of losses, countless ongoing lawsuits, and a flushed reputation.

            Anyone wanting “a seat at the table” would be much better off contacting Embraer.

      • NG nor LM wants to get into that bussiness.

        They are doing quite nicely ripping off the Government with defense contracts.

        NG is having issues cost wise with the B-21 and LM has totally mucked up the F-35.

        You might want to think hard as the reason they are in defense is they know the government will not let them fail.

  6. “By almost every measure, it may be argued that Calhoun failed to live up to his mandate. Yet he is going to exit at year-end with a $34m payout.”

    Muilenburg walked away with $60 Million.

    Boeing’s financial performance is in no way tied to the CEO’s salary. So, how does anyone reasonably expect Boeing to do better until the CEO pay is tied directly to Boeing’s financial performance? The Risk/Reward model is vaporware in the C-Suite. There is no responsibility. No accountability. There is no incentive to do the right thing. So, how can anyone honestly expect things to change, if the next CEO gets a golden parachute? It’s the same as Big Pharma, who also owns their Government regulators. The CEO’s there don’t care if their drugs kill or save millions of people. They get the same salary. As long as they are able to sell drugs to the government, why should they care who lives or who dies? It doesn’t affect their salary.

    • And why is not the board clawing back the 5 million Calhoun was given when the MAX got back in the air (and obviously with zero contribution from him) ?

  7. Re: Pontifications,,, sadly the introduction to the post reminds me of my early days in consulting when I kept a Boeing quality manual on my desk for reference to Deming and Juran principles.

  8. I think it’s pretty clear that Boeing has been infected with the Jack Welch GE profits above all, mentality. Clearing out Calhoun, or Deal/Kellner is just the tip of the iceberg.

    How many VP’s, managers, supervisors have taken on the same philosophy? How many are actually quite useless in their role?

    The mess that is Boeing took years to get there and as we all know, it is far more difficult to build something, then it is to tear it down. There will be resistance all over the place, from the BoD on down.

    If you could find someone, who went through each department and was able to identify the dead wood that needed replacing, you would need more cash still, to buy them out and find qualified people to replace them.

    What a task…

    • As with most posters here, I worked in aerospace, and/or like some follow it closely. The Jack Welsh system that affected a generation or so of management was designed to change what was working fine and generate more profit for the major shareholders. These disciples of this system looked at all the checks and balances in place in the building of original equipment and finally assembly.

      They went to work with political donations to weaken the FAA. They then set up their own system of oversight. They then looked at their own quality departments and people and rolled their eyes and snickered derisively. Things could not happen fast enough for these men, and they really kicked it into high gear by switching as much production as they could to low cost countries (nations with great poverty.) Pleased with how things were working, they shifted software development offshore. Of course, they looked for non-union employees in right-to-work states. They then pressured their long-term suppliers to follow these same procedures.

      As pointed out, change to this way of doing business will not happen overnight. Schools have pounded into the brains of students terms like lean manufacturing. Lot of good things being mentioned here.

      • @samw

        Wall Street in many ways has a hard time with aerospace projects. These have busy models that can take decade(s) to return on investment. It is far to easy to starve a business like that for cash in the near term to inflate profits

      • You just fire dead wood. The problem people are managers that should not be there, so can them and move on.

    • I believe this is the US’ issue and it’s systemic now. You can’t fix Boeing alone.

      • Yes. It’s almost as though there is some sort of long-term plan being executed here in the US, one that benefits only the very few, and immiserates the many.

        Our Elites Fail Upward..

      • Its worth a note that you can dis the US, but if you look at the mess in Baltimore (not is should not have happened) and opening up a channel in weeks.

        Yes you can build an excellent company in the US (Space X). You can’t sit on your management butt while you do it.

        • It’s ironic that you need a dictator (Musk) to build a successful company, while democratic-led public companies are dying of from the quarterism cancer – in the US.
          But it only makes sense – a private company don’t need to have good quarter every quarter to appease Wall Street so it can have long-term plan.

          • Sadly history is not driven by wall flowers, for better or worse.

            Its forceful personalities that get things done.

            Dunnage like Calhoun just tear things down.

    • Replacing personnel who have the wrong attitude is certainly a necessity. However, whether that makes any difference or not depends on how long the wrong people were in post.

      For example, if the wrong people were in a position of influence over some design aspect, there’s a good chance they’ve screwed up the design. Bringing in someone good only makes any sense if you give them the freedom to fix the design. In fact, you’ll struggle to get anyone good if you constrain them from fixing it; on their interview day factory tour they’ll make their own assessment. An interview is as much them interviewing the company and its products, as it is the company interviewing them…

      So when we look at a company such as Boeing, which has been done in by its management for decades, it’s quite likely that the overall conclusion of a whole new cadre would be, “chuck the whole design, start again”.

      What Boeing really, really needs is a senior management and shareholders who are actually prepared to accept such a recommendation and enable it. I doubt they can get that.

      It might not come to that, but considering that there’s a whole load of manufacturing baggage associated with the 737, difficulty manufacturing 787, and the very real risk that the 777x is dead on arrival, a complete model refresh might be a good idea. Simply introducing a whole new model – an A320 clone for example – and getting that right would send a strong message that Boeing has indeed turned a corner.

      It’s going to be a lot harder to convince everyone they’ve got themselves in good order if they simply keep making the existing product line ad infinitum.

      • Thanks for this comment. I have also advocated for a non-moonshot single-aisle. Prove you can make something-anything!- without major issues, Boing..

  9. An excellent column today on Boeing’s ongoing problems.
    The Robert Stallard quote was on the mark, absolutely; yet
    CEO Calhoun waltzes off with $34 million. A reward, in essence,for ruining that Company. Nice work if you can get it-

    • Calhoun alone did not ruin Boeing.

      Its been a long line of no management and board complicity.

      The Leaches have covered the Boeing body. Time to get the lighter out (segue in the African Queen) and burn them off.

  10. Reuters: Glass Lewis recommends investors vote against three Boeing directors

    Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis on Tuesday recommended shareholders vote against the election of three directors – Dave Calhoun, Akhil Johri and David Joyce – to planemaker Boeing’s board.

    • That is great news. People standing up to corrupt leadership.

      • Agree good news, I think Leadership and Corrupt are oxymoron’s.

        • They have been these past three decades at Boeing Corporation. As noted, change can’t move at a snail’s pace or the risk is that it will become non-existent.

  11. And, in the middle of this monumental mess, Boeing decides that it wants to acquire Spirit Aero…as if that’s a viable/constructive option in Boeing’s current state. Of note:
    – The price tag for this acquisition will be of the order of (at least) $4B.
    – Spirit has more than $3B in debt…which will shift onto Boeing’s balance sheet. In effect, the acquisition will thus cost $7B.
    – Spirit’s employees are clearly de-motivated…and, yet, they’ll be part of the acquisition. Are these people supposed to have some sort of Damascene Conversion when they fall under Boeing management? All of a sudden, they’ll be inspired and motivated to deliver excellence?

    Boeing clearly underestimated the difficulty/complexity involved in getting the acquisition closed (they seem to have forgotten about foreign anti-trust interests)…so perhaps they’ve equally overestimated the ease with which they can turn Spirit around…?

    One is simultaneously reminded of King Canute, Louis XIV and Nero.

      • Yes I noted that before.

        Same thing. No money in it. False premise and no one will buy it now.,

    • Foreign anti trust does not play into this, nor does US Anti Trust. You are not removing a competitor. They are a supplier and Airbus has a similar supply system.

      Spirit is a bad situation, danged if you do and danged if you don’t.

      The bottom lines Boeing has to fix its failed management of the enterprise and adding Spirit into the mix is not a short term solution.

      Boeing is a mess, buying Spirit is a bigger mess but its a mess already so you have a consolidated mess.

      Longer term if Boeing cleans itself up then the Spirit division would also clean up.

      We are not talking over night. 5 years and that assumes a true CEO who wants Boeing to work not grab the money and run.

      • “Foreign anti trust does not play into this, nor does US Anti Trust. You are not removing a competitor. They are a supplier and Airbus has a similar supply system.”

        IMU this is a faulty position.

        Spirit is a supplier for Boeing _and_ Airbus.
        Boeing intending to buy Spirit will get attention from various sides. To get through my guess is that Spirit needs to be partitioned with the predominantly Boeing related divisions going to Boeing …

        Note also that Boeing can’t get to grips with its own shop. Do you expect Boeing to achieve anything worthwhile “operating” on Spirit?

        • Of course there are foreign anti-trust obstacles — any deal has to be green-lighted by anti-trust authorities in de US, EU, Brazil, and other countries.
          Boeing somehow seems to have “overlooked” this minefield.

          • Boeing is talking the same kind of “no problem”
            smack about buying Spirit as they did about the
            737 anti-ice / nacelle issue- and indeed so many other things.

            Any news on the 777-X TIA, or the 737-7 and -10 certification timelines? What an outfit..

          • @ Vincent
            In the case of the Spirit anti-trust minefield, it’s actually quite conceivable that the Boeing team was simply (monumentally) ignorant of the process involved. Remember that we’re dealing here with stellar levels of incompetence and out-of-touchedness…

        • You guys are like so off base.

          There is nothing anti competitive in buying out a failing business that is not a separate entity.

          Its not like Delta is Buying American. That would remove competition.

          Two huge Grocery Chains in the US are trying to merge, they are not being allowed to. They are in the same business and its in US interest that they do not merge (or whatever the takeover stuff is labeled)

          GE owns an Italian gear mfg. They supply gears to all sorts of other business including Aviation. Its a business that GE thought was worth being in.

          And clearly Boeing does not want Airbus business aspects of Spirit any more than Airbus does. Not because of competition but a headache for dealing with each other.

          Those business will be spun off. As no one wants to buy them Airbus will have to just like Boeing just bought (GKN? St Louis).

          Trying to make an issue out of no issue

          • you just addressed the point: Those business will be spun off… easily said but…
            – at what price? what if Boeing says: “you can have it for 5 bn and otherwise we destroy all machines that produce your A 220 wings.
            – how about IP? would you as Airbus want that Boeing gets all info on the components Spirit produces for them?
            – what if in the transition period, the management shifts people to Boeing products leading to supply shortages at Airbus?

            Got a taste?

          • @ Chris JSY

            Boeing can’t do anything with Spirit until the (partial) acquisition is approved both by Spirit shareholders AND by all anti-trust regulators involved.

            Just because Boeing is desperate to get a deal done quickly doesn’t mean that any other party has to oblige it.

            Some commenters here really need to brush-up on their knowledge of anti-trust procedures…

          • You need to brush up on it as well.

            As long as there is not an anti competitive aspect, its not even on the radar.

            Airbus can solve its problem right now, so ball is in their court.

            And not Boeing can’t just charge Airbus what it wants. There are binding contractual agreements in place.

            Equally Boeing wants no more to do with Airbus than Airbus wants to do with Boeing.

            Values are easy. What did Spirit pay for the A220 wing factory? Done deal.

            Spirit does not make aircraft, its not a comparison. Regulators do not care about supply chains unless it affects the consumer. This does not.

            Making a Mountain out of a grain of sand.

  12. Calhoun needs to go and he needs to go NOW!

    Interesting read here:

    Pat Shanahan would make a much better choice than current and possible Pope.
    I worked for Pat at one time in my career at Boeing. He gets involved and he listens to the folks who build the products. He’s not perfect but he’s also not ex Mickey D or a GE Welch disciple. He’s tried and true Boeing. Shanahan learned from Allan Mulally.

    This was a key takeaway:
    According to my sources, the board now leans towards moving headquarters away from its current location in Arlington, Va., and back to the Seattle area where it makes most of its airplanes and generates the bulk of its revenues. That landmark shift would mark a homecoming for both Boeing and Shanahan. “The new CEO needs to get his butt into an office off the factory floor in Seattle,” says one industry insider. “Part of the job is being there. You can’t just phone it in from South Carolina or Florida.”

    Want to fix Boeing – this would be an excellent start.

    • Agreed…need to by the production lines As for Pope, if selected I wouldn’t be surprised to see some airlines (e.g. Emirates) start moving to Airbus and cancel delayed deliveries. One they don’t believe a “MBA” is the answer, must have engineering background (mentioned in previous article) If Pope is the “solution”, might be time for US airlines to start moving from the sole source of Boeing (e.g. Southwest maybe time for A220 in your fleet)
      As for China, its been its going into the 8th year without new orders. How many completed China aircraft in Boeing’s storage yard as of today?

      • Well in Calhouns case it was Maine.

        I could care less where Boeing has it HQ. Its a diverse bossiness with a foot and or fingers in a lot of pies all around the US.

        You just need management that is not out to loot the company and supports its division managers who in turn have to be good.

        But the BCA President needs an office, that garbage about floating around was truly that. Each division President needs an office.

        That office should be where things are done, but Boeing is now always going to have to split BCA attention between two extremes across the country.

  13. The chicken finally came home to roost…

    The writing was already on the wall ten years ago, when working in aircraft acceptance and flight test for a Boeing customer airline we were faced with more and more hurdles when we asked Boeing to respond to our queries or provide explanations. It got only worse when Boeing customer support staff that we had built good relations with were forced to move from Seattle WA to Seal Beach CA.
    No good could come out of the relocation of top management and customer support teams away from the site where the actual airplane is built. The “Boeing knows best” arrogance that prevailed at that time has finally come to bear fruits and it will take Boeing much longer than they currently admit to dig themselves out of the hole that Calhoun and his predecessors dug. The deep entrenched culture damage that was allowed for years on end to fester cannot be undone within a few months.

    • @Kurt K

      You are correctly referring to the service engineering FORCED move from Seattle to Seal Beach. I remember it well. How they originally lied to us saying it was going to move out of production airplane service engineering only …727/737 classic. Then slowly it evolved to all… meanwhile keeping all of us in the dark.
      Our managers were sworn to secrecy and told us nothing!
      Many experienced 20 – 30+ years service engineers were told if they wanted to go to Seal Beach they would have to re apply for their job. It sucked how so many were treated, then it trickled down to exceptional crappy customer service as you mention.

      Arrogance to the Nth degree….. still the same BTW.

      This was all the brainchild of McNerney when SPEEA got a great contract in 2012. After he vowed to destroy union representation of engineers. This included moving BR&T from Seattle to Oklahoma City and Huntsville.
      For those who don’t know. The service engineers provide technical assistance to airlines in their respective ATA, including technical support to liaison engineers for non conformance pre delivery, write service bulletins for increased safety and reliability and provide support for Boeing AOG worldwide.

    • Kurt…..very well said and I’ve been saying the same to whomever will listen. The legacy Boeing culture was systematically and intentionally destroyed in favor of a more profit-centric model. It has taken a full generation to dismantle and it’s not coming back over-night, if ever!

  14. I am sure Scott will take great comfort in my agreeing with him on launching a new jet program. Solid research, testing and planning has to go into it first. The concept of doing something is better than doing nothing is what mechanics fear. Yes you can make it worse and a lot worse (and I did under direct orders one time (I thought they had the authority and was informed after they did not, hmmm, we jumped when they said Frog so….) , 20k in damage and an aircraft stuck in a hangar.

    Boeing’s obviously in Chaos (ring in James Bond Theme) and yes its stupid to even try (and we saw what a joke the 787 production system was).

    Along with a solid base of design Boeing needs its failures cleared up before they can tackle production of anything.

    One area of note is the last annalist Stalwart used the word Seemingly and Hopelessly Optimistic . I have learned to not use those social lets get alone terms. Calhoun could have cared less about any of it and the mess Boeing is in fully reflects that. Optimistic should be replaced by Deliberately Spinning BS to he could loot the company while spinning lies to cover it up.

    He is a snake that is going to strike at a mouse because that is all he knows. Hard wired. Its all about lucre and liquidating Boeing.

    I think Leaches is the right term. They suck the host for blood, they don’t kill it immediately but over time the Leaches weaken the host to where something comes along and kills it in its enfeebled state.

    • @TW
      Would love to have Boeing’s house in order before launching anything new. It is a calculated risk holding off until debt is lowered. Time is not Boeing’s friend.
      I have to consider a scenario where Boeing holds off until 2030, launches something and ultimately EIS is delayed until 2040 for any number of reasons. Does Boeing have a lineup they can warm over until then? This is a company that has launched exactly one aircraft in the last 30 years and none in the last 20 (just googled the B787 launched 4/26/2004).

      • Casey:

        The point is valid but the opposite is true, launch into a chaos and a failing organization and you guaranteed failure.

        You saw what happened with the 787 launched into a free lunch mentality. Oh we will make billions at no risk.

        Right now airlines are absobine the new egnined jets and having a hard time of it. Mayb3e 10% of the single aisle turnover. The A320 and MAX are vaible for the forseable future and as long as neighter pary makes a ove, its a choice of one or the other (or both).

        Nothing is going to threaten the 787 segment for 20 years. Its got a lock on that area. Its a sweet spot as the 787 is very flexible unlike an A350 or 777X (both are ok but a lot less flexible).

        The 777X has decent market. Sure its nothing special but Airbus would have to do an A350-2000 to challange it direcly. So its a good holding pattern.

        In the meantime Boeing needs to sort out the TTBW and if its viable.

        There really is no alternative.

        Or you can do a MAX replacement with a tube and composite wing and Airbus responds with a new A320 wing (or drops the A320, goes with the A220 in that segment and puts a new wing on the A321).

        Back to even again except it costs Boeing a lot more just to maintain a market share that they are no longer even in.

    • Leaches is a good term, but I prefer parasites.
      A parasite infects the host, consumes it from within until the host is at or near death, then jumps to a new host.
      In this case, the parasite infected Boeing in the merger when its old host , McD, was approaching death.

  15. Good safety culture is embedded in a good overall problem-solving culture.

    This caught my eye (and Matth’s comment above): Speak Up suddenly generated 30,000 suggestions. (!!!!!) Let’s suppose a non-trivial fraction of the suggestions were, in as many words, “Fire Calhoun.” Fine. Whatever.

    Calhoun’s next line is, “We are taking all ideas collected and prioritizing them …”

    A problem-solving culture establishes resources, authority, expertise and judgment, and a robust internal process that mobilizes workers to act on their own ideas from the workplace. The 777 program was a high-water mark for this embedded team-based problem-solving culture. Prior programs also had formidable problem-solving workplace cultures.

    Calhoun’s message stumbles out of the gate … disappears in smoke … flunks any test of leadership …. fails to achieve orbital velocity. Pick your metaphor.

    On our best day, problem-solving in this industry is challenging and we have a correspondingly high failure rate. With a poor problem-solving culture, your failure rate goes straight up.

    @Stephanie Pope: Tell us what you have to say!

    • Calhoun clearly priorities which round file he puts them into (or more accurate a janitor does)

      Well Calhoun really is only suited to be a Janitor and a bad one at that.

      And I apologize to the Janitors of this world, we need those positions filled by decent people so we can do our work and the ones with ambition can replace us as we drop off the map.

      • If a person is corrupt no one would want them as an employee, unless the organization was also corrupt.

        • I have a theory that the devolution into excessive management compensation is hard linked to intrinsic corruption.
          i.e. compensation is highest for those that gut a company the best.

          Bit of a scavenger mentality.

          • There’s a lot of truth in that. Makes sense to me. The shareholders are thinking short-term. They become obsessed with a quick payoff and are overcome with greed. “Greed, for lack of a better word, IS NOT good.” That was the point of the movie…

    • Yes- many of us are waiting to hear from Boing Thought Leader and now BCA head (?) Stephanie Pope, who has been been conspicuously absent and silent through that company’s ongoing travails. Odd.. maybe Mister Calhoun will explain.

  16. When debts were mounting, Boeing learned us free cash flow was what really matters, a sign of strenght.

    The buy back driven stock value & historic perspectives did the rest seducing a willing to believe, protective public.

    I think public money will be required to safe Boeing & some of its supply chain. Create a “level playing field”.

    • Public money given to Boeing will be another nail in the coffin of free trade…just like all the money being thrown about by the Chips Act.

      It will also be hugely ironic/farsical in view of Boeing’s years-long WTO suit against Airbus.

      But it’s probably going to happen anyway, because of a lack of other options.

      And, in any case, Boeing has already received ca. $90B in subsidies, loan guarantees, etc., in recent years…so what’s new?

  17. While Boeing trips over itself and drowns in debt, Embraer sees an opportunity to steal some cake:

    “The Wall Street Journal reported that the world’s third-largest planemaker is exploring options for a new narrowbody jet to break out of its regional niche and “compete head-on” with the 737 MAX and A320neo in the busiest part of the market.”


    Who knows…this might be the birth of a new Embraer-COMAC JV.
    Now certainly is an ideal time to break into the market — Boeing is crippled, its narrowbody offering is a 1960s-era embarassment, and its customer base is increasingly angry.

    • Other than access to the Chinese market, I don’t perceive a huge benefit to Embraer partnering with COMAC.

      • Lots of funds.
        And a huge industrial base to supply materials and parts.
        Also: they’re both members of BRICS, and may soon be trading in a new BRICS currency — which would rid Embraer of dollar-associated risks.

          • Of course they denied it…they’ll wait for a more opportune moment to announce it, once more details are ironed out.
            The next BRICS meeting for example.

    • @Abalone
      A competitor to Airbus and Boeing? That did not end well the last time that was attempted. Embraer cannot move alone in a box. Ultimately when the CSeries launched, the Max and Neo followed coupled with intense pricing pressure on Bombardier. Then there was Mitsubishi with MRJ / SpaceJet. That aircraft never even made it to EIS.

      Ultimately you would need need to get enough of the prime Tier1’s committed who may not be looking to cannibalize their own investments. Then there is the small matter of flipping enough airlines from their current installations.

      Whether they want to or not, Boeing needs Embraer and vice-versa if they want to team up on a new aircraft.

      • Leech Boeing partnering with Embraer. What could have gone wrong.

        MRJ is unobvious.
        Going for FAA certification may have been a bad idea.
        ( I have difficulty imagining the Japanese as too incompetent and thumb fisted to manage a certification. EASA would have provided for a fairer path )
        The impression I have is that SpaceJet was “hung out to dry” by the FAA as an “undesired product”. vulgo systematic sabotage.

        • I agree with your last sentence: companies don’t suddenly
          abandon multi-billion dollar investments with a mere
          shrug of the shoulders. There is a backstory, and it’s
          not the one that’s been provided for public consumption.

      • Boeing needs Embraer (for its talent pool of young engineers)…but Embraer certainly doesn’t need Boeing. It was left at the altar a few years ago, and it won’t be going back for second helpings.

        Things have changed since the C-series and Spacejet were attempted. Back then, there was a duopoly — whereas, now, there’s a “one-and-a-half-poly”, with the “half” part rapidly sailing into oblivion. Moreover, in the intervening period, both China and BRICS have become considerably more powerful.

        Flipping airlines won’t be a problem: countries are lining up to join BRICS, whereas the G7 is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Add to that the dissatisfaction over Boeing delays and quality and you have a perfect entry point for a powerful newcomer.

        Incidentally, noticable cracks are emerging in consumer confidence and spending in the US and elsewhere, and the airline industry is starting to see some signs of weakness (Frontier delivery postponement, Bonza receivership, loses at AF-KLM and LH, increasing distress at Southwest). With its continuing late deliveries, a very large portion of Boeing’s order book can be canceled without penalty. That’s not a pretty situation to be in in a cooling economy.

  18. In my opinion they seem like a company that needs to focus.

    Stop all work on 777X, which will be a cash drain for the foreseeable future anyways. Focus on the cash cows: Get 737max and 787 quality sorted. Rebuild trust and a proper safety management system.

    Then they can tackle the 777X again.

    • The 777X is an area they have to finish.

      There are huge costs sunk into it and there is no reason to can it.

      Its not going to happen any more than 757 is coming back. Its part of Boeing future even if it is not an all new design.

      Well assuming Boeing has a future. It just needs the confirmation testing. And of course the FAA having to deal with the MAX debacle again is going to have an impact.

    • Do the two task clash in any way?
      ( IMU not )

      Getting their production system back up to required quality and performance touches on any product they work on.
      not just 737 and 787.

      Stopping the 777X work will cause further and _intensive_ knowledge rott on that project.

      • @Uwe
        There are only so many bodies for development work at Boeing. One of the things that gets lost by some is that Boeing has a large military division as well. There is a very real possibility that Boeing wins either the NGAD or F18 replacement within in the next year. Going to be spreading thin if they cannot get any of their other development projects over the finish line.

        • Boeing is making (large, ongoing) losses on all its current, main Defense projects…and they’re also all late.
          So, we can surmise that Defense is not going to save Boeing.

          • Its not a matter of saving Boeing, defense is still a smaller part of the whole than BCA.

            That said, programs that are managed to perform and do help the foundation. None of them are going away.

            Boeing made a good decision on refusing to play the Air Force game on the Doomsday Plane contract. SN is going to go way over and its going to be a mess. Boeing gets to support the 747s they choose. Win.

            E7 is going to be huge, USAF is stuck with no alternative. So a high cost to Boeing years back will pay a major dividend.

            F-15EX will do well, F/A-18 is going to be a must, Navy has nothing to replace it with.

            And just so people don’t over focus, LM has made a hash of the F-35 and its a gift that keeps on giving.


            P-8 will continue though it may get revamped to a MAX hull. And AH-64, CH-47 continue to do well as do various other munitions programs (some of which can be sold off).

            Boeing clearly has serious problems, but it has a lot of base good in the MAX, 787 and the 777X. Only one is state of the art but the 777X is bigger, has a lot of freighter orders than the A350 so while its not going to a mainline large numbers, I can be made to be a mid level success.

            It should be noted for all the dis of the MAX, it has equal economics to the A320NEO. While that says a lot of the fact that aerodynamic s is mature and its hard to get an improvement (sans engines) it means its a good option if Boeing can get its act together.

            Boeing has a lot to work with and they look to have put themselves in the Number 2 slot for any future timeline, it can be a good Number 2 and pay out.

  19. “Boeing Starliner Space Capsule Faces a Shaky Commercial Future”

    “The launch will be a closely watched test of quality control at Boeing, whose 737 Max models have been linked to some of the worst aircraft safety and design failures in recent aviation history.

    “But even if Starliner performs flawlessly, it will be difficult to proclaim the program a success since it may only fly a half dozen more missions for NASA and never do much else.”

    “Another hurdle to Starliner’s commercial prospects is that Boeing has hired the NASA’s flight operations team to help with the upcoming launch. This is in stark contrast with SpaceX, which has its own flight control team ready to fly Crew Dragon whenever needed.

    “The Boeing spokesperson said there were no immediate plans to change its working model, since the NASA partnership is “valuable in fostering collaboration across the organizations.””


    • Interesting Atlas design in the late 50’s- still a greatw launch vehicle and reliable

      ditto for solid boosters about a decade later

      then Boeing — spaceplane works well-

      But starlner ? slower and cheaper-. . . gotta keep those numbers up or …

    • Well, it’s getting hard to resist the conspiracy theories now.

    • Anyone care to run a probability analysis- same company (spirit) same-similar issues raised, same internal results, same lawyer, ‘ unique ‘ circumstances with same outcome, similar timing, similar organization, –

      compare to lightning strike on a clear day.

      • P-value for two individuals with the provided ages and exposed to unrelated risks = 0.000005 – 0.000104 (very rough estimate)

        A monthly P-value of individuals getting struck by lightning in the US = 0.000009819

        • And for two job related individuals in three months getting struck by lightning is ??

          And the two indivduals who were exposed to same job related risks with same lawyer getting struck by lightning .

  20. Done deal.

    Workers who build A220 at Airbus Canada ratify new contract

    MONTREAL — The union representing 1,300 workers at Airbus Canada says they have ratified a new five-year contract.

    The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers says workers voted 77 per cent in favour of the agreement that included adjustments recommended by a conciliator.

  21. Wonderful example of transparency:
    “Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems sues to block Texas safety probe”

    “(Reuters) – Airline parts manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE:SPR) has asked a U.S. judge to block a probe by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, calling the state’s demand for internal documents and other information unreasonable and unlawful.

    “Spirit Aero filed the lawsuit Wednesday night in an Austin, Texas, federal court. It said Spirit Aero had significant legal concerns with the investigation that Paxton’s office announced in March focused on the safety of airplane parts provided to Boeing (NYSE:BA).

    “Paxton’s demands go too far and violate the U.S. Constitution’s right against unreasonable search and seizure, the company said.”

    “Paxton’s request directed Wichita, Kansas-based Spirit AeroSystems to turn over internal communication records and other documents “relevant to manufacturing defects in their products.””


    Paxton has every right to subpoena Spirit in Texas:
    – Boeing’s sweatheart DPA was set up in Texas.
    – Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas has since ruled that the MAX crash casualties were crime victims, and he subsequently arraigned Boeing in Texas (on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States).
    – The 5th Circuit Court of Appeal has since directed O’Connor to nix the DPA if the DOJ doesn’t do that of its own volition.

    One could be forgiven for thinking that Spirit is trying to hide dirty laundry.

    • When corporations start giving the orders..

      One to watch, for sure. TFTL.

    • In refusing to grant a TIA many months ago, the FAA asserted that the plane’s design wasn’t yet “mature” enough.
      Sounds like the FAA is dealing with a very amateuristic show here.
      High alpha / small tail rumors, fuselage rip-out fiasco, uncommanded pitch event, EASA chaparoning…no, that really doesn’t sound mature.

      • Its not the design is not mature enough.

        Boeing got so far off the reservation that they forgot who the regulator was.

        So now Boeing has to supply support for its presentations and the FAA noted that they were not doing well. So, like a bad student, they had to do their assignment over and over and over again until they get it right.

        In one case they just cut and pasted software from the 787 into the 777. Now control laws (control theory) is all the same, you use P or PI and or PID but in the end, the values are different for different size aircraft.

        Boeing did not even change the values to predicted ones.

        Yes it would have been caught in test, but the FAA was not impressed with the fact they got caught red handed trying to fudge, because they have been fudging for a long time.

        Bad boy, no biscuit, do it and you better have values that are supported by data not flipping them out (and yes I spend many a happy hour fixing PID statements that had wrong values)

    • Oh dear.
      If Emirates was not so dependent on getting the biggest airplane around to eventually replace the A380 and if Sir Tim Clark would be happier with the A350-1000’s RR Trent 97 thrust ratings, maintenance costs, warranty, and durability (in particular resistance to calcium magnesium alumina silicate [CMAS] induced degradation present in the Emirates operating environment), Airbus might long have chipped away at the Emirates 777-9 order with their A350-1000.
      As it is, Boeing is still in the saddle and has hopes of eventually raising another cash cow in the 777-9, but the question is how long airlines’ patience is going to last. Lufthansa already has and Emirates will soon have A350s in their respective fleets.
      If Airbus could put the thumbscrews on RR and get them to up their ante, they could have a clear winner.

      • @Kurt
        I am sure everyone in the C-Suite at Boeing fears the day Emirates throws up their arms on the B777. We are cropping up at setting a record for longest commercial development project (would be interested to know what the record is).

        A lot of the backlog is OLLLLLD orders. A lot can happen to an airline after 10 years…and when they give up on the B777 and pivot to A350, it is hard to justify flying both fleets.

      • As I recall, Emirates wanted to get their hands on a 777X before accepting delivers and run it around a little bit. Can’t wait to see how that’ll work out

        • No reason they can’t hop in the cockpit with Boeing pilots and toodle around!

          Boeing will not have a cash cow in the 777X. It may be a moderate success but its not the heart of the market.

          RR can’t get out of its own way. So all the thumb screws in the world are not going to solve a design change, testing it and finding out if it works or not. There are only 8000 testing hours in a year and you can’t make it go any faster than that.

          But its also true Boeing desperately needs to get the 777X certified, given another 5 years and A350-1000 issues are solved, ungh.

        • Not quite.

          This was supposed to be part of the operational validation program by Boeing, operating the airplane in dusty, high temperature, low ambient pressure desert conditions, partly being crewed by a few Emirates pilots.

          One of the first slippages was moving the supposed date from summer to spring. It was never quite clear to me how this was supposed to validate the hot, low pressure behaviour of the airplane…

          • “.. moving the supposed date from summer to spring. …”

            There is always a new summer coming up after any spring. 🙂

          • @Uwe

            From summer to spring

            Spring follows summer, as well;

            We are coming into summer 2024. After fall, then winter, we’ll have spring 2025 – which is kinda what’s going on at BA with the 777X.

            But I’m thinking a TIA is required first, to make this happen.

  22. Not good, especially cutting back of the 737 MAX production rate. BA has to conserve cash??

    ‘CEO of lessor DAE (in the UAE): “The only thing we can reliably expect from @Boeing these days is a delivery delay notification, not an aircraft.”

    Howmet cuts 737 MAX production guidance to 20/mo.* It cut 787 rate expectation from 6/mo to 5/mo. Mgmt said 737 situation very uncertain. Based on Howmet’s recent shipments vs Boeing’s actual production, they are expecting 737 deliveries to be cut back in the second half.

    * According to another poster:
    “Rate 20/m is the average rate for the full year of @HowmetAerospace guidance.”

  23. Nobody dared to say the 320 series is probably a better platform than the 737 series, for the last 35 yrs.

    Engine choice, wider quieter cabin, meeting all 16g requirements, higher BPR / lower sfc engines (e.g. CFM56-5 vs -7), container options, higher seat capacity, better airfield performance, more advanced systems such as EICAS and FBW.

    Oops I mentioned it.

    • Well that comes out of the blue.

      Funny that the data does not back up that SFC is better. All data says one day an A320 is a bit better, one day a 737 and the average is dead even (including NEO)

      Wider yes, but all those weird noises down below on takeoff? They make U Tubes enplaning why its ok.

      The container option is only worth something if you need or use it. Shrug.

      As I recall, a 800-8 has a few more seats than an A320.

      Now the A321 is a different story. And EICAS has had its issues as has FBW.

      Loss history of the two aircraft are virtually identical (and that is not to dismiss the losses in either aircraft).

      FBW did not stop the Pakistani pilot from doing a touch and go with its engines as the landing gear did it?

      Arguably some of those A320 losses are because it seems easy to fly, until it isn’t.

      But feel free to mention away.

      • I don’t recall there’s any hull loss of A320neo family aircraft (unlike the MAX 😒), correct me if I’m wrong.

        • I believe he was referring to the first A320 loss back in 1988. That’s how far people have to go back to find something that can be somehow spun as “Airbus’ issue”.

          • That one and DoU are my favorite commenters here, for their winning combination of understated expertise, erudition, and scrupulous honesty.

          • This is set in stone:
            Boeing issues are invariably ( underqualified, foreign ) pilot caused
            Airbus issues are invariably caused by FBW and other design faults.


          • @Vincent

            Don’t forget financial matters

      • When you have to remove the A321 from the equation to make the MAX program appearing successful…
        Very soon the A320 will be only 30-35% of A32x production, I guess at that point you will consider the A320 a failure…

      • Stalin: “Quantity has a quality all of its own.”

        i.e. having to scrape the bottom for A320 issues
        while there are sufficient samples for 737 shortcomings
        ( that get tided over as “3rd world pilot error” )
        is probably not the right way to make a valid statement.

    • Nothing to worry about. 787 is a “real good program”. 😉

      • The 787 is a good aircraft and well designed.

        Its been failed by execution.

        There is a good reason its sold well over 1000.

        But then there are people who think they know more than the buyers.

        • It is cheap to begin with and you get so much more out of it by way of compensation from Boeing ( delays and such.)
          A bean counters wet dream.

          Boeing was lucky in that the 787 delays fell into the GFC “market relaxation” window. ( was that a planned thing? warnings were abundant. is was a triggerable event.)
          In recent years pressure was alleviated by COVID fallout.

          • ‘Leeham analyst Bjorn Fehrm believes Boeing cannot make an overall profit on the program. Ted Piepenbrock, an academic affiliated with MIT and the University of Oxford, projects losses decreasing through the first 700 airliners and forecasts the cumulative deferred costs to peak beyond $34 billion. The model most favorable to Boeing projects a program loss of $5 billion after delivering 2,000 Dreamliners. Boeing’s original development investment, estimated at least at a further $20 billion, is not included in these costs.’


            A loss of $25 billion. If this is ‘good & well designed’. I wonder what a failure looks like?


            That’s what happens when guys like this are in charge:

            ‘The directors on Boeing’s board, Harry Stonecipher (Boeing’s President and CEO) and John McDonnell issued an ultimatum to “develop the plane for less than 40 percent of what the 777 had cost to develop 13 years earlier, and build each plane out of the gate for less than 60 percent of the 777’s unit costs in 2003”, and approved a development budget estimated at US$7 billion as Boeing management claimed that they would “require subcontractors to foot the majority of costs.” Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Alan Mulally, who had previously served as general manager of the 777 programs contrasted the difference in the approval process by the board between the 777 and 787 saying “In the old days, you would go to the board and ask for X amount of money, and they’d counter with Y amount of money, and then you’d settle on a number, and that’s what you’d use to develop the plane. These days, you go to the board, and they say, ‘Here’s the budget for this airplane, and we’ll be taking this piece of it off the top, and you get what’s left; don’t f— up.'”[9]’

          • @Frank It’s interesting to see that the article was written in 2015, when the production was still at a high level. Now after months without a delivery, much smaller production rate and all the additional worries, cost per frame must have gone up considerably. Definitely not a stellar program.

          • Spirit AeroSystems also lost $1.4 billion in its 787 program. PFS!

            It’s a transfer of wealth. The only question is from whom.

          • Do we know any 787 project “partners” that actually made a profit in their partnership for success?

          • @Uwe

            Do you count CEO/CFOs like McNerney, Muilenburg and Calhoun?

          • @Matth

            Although widebodies are supposed to be higher margin items, Boeing locked itself into low value contracts, to corner the market – which they did. Now that costs have risen, the burnoff of the DBP has slowed dramatically.

            This is what Boeing says about it in their most recent financials:

            ‘At March 31, 2024, $11,601 of 787 deferred production costs, unamortized tooling and other non-recurring costs are expected to be recovered from units included in the program accounting quantity that have firm orders, and $1,949 is expected to be recovered from units included in the program accounting quantity that represent expected future orders.’

            So they have a total of 1,912 (1,123 delivered – 789 backlog) firm orders, according to wiki – which they expect will burn off $11.6 billion. About $14.7 million per aircraft delivered.


            I think the airlines made out well (United comes to mind). Anyone else who got out when BA was at $440 a share did nicely.

            Anyone else, it seems – is a bagholder.

          • @Uwe

            ‘Do we know any 787 project “partners” that actually made a profit in their partnership for success?’


            The ones who lost the bid, weren’t involved with the program and didn’t do any of the work.

            Sometimes, it’s just better to walk away from some jobs.

    • Well that is a new low, not remotely anything to do with Aviation.

      I guess the town crier just can’t help themselves.

      • Baltimore is the 5th largest port in the US for import of bulk aluminum, and the largest port in the country for import of heavy machinery.
        The airline industry uses both of those.
        Having to choose an alternative port incurs extra costs and delays.

      • Yup. Baltimore opened a “deeper” channel in weeks. Time for more singing and dancing. Hundreds of fracture critical bridges are in poor condition.

  24. Some news on Boeing’s attempted acquisition of Spirit Aero:

    “Airbus called for compensation to take on money-losing Spirit operations, sources say”

    “The sources did not give financial details, but industry sources have said a UK Airbus plant run by Spirit needs a $1 billion-plus re-investment to dig it out of losses.”


    Looks like Boeing didn’t do its homework on this deal at all…

    • “As well as building wings for the Airbus A220 it has been expanding into defence and space.”

      • They also make parts for Bombardier at the Belfast plant. What happens to that part of the business?
        They still trade as Short Brothers PLC so we can see their accounts. They’ve been loss making for six years up to 2022 (accounts for 2023 not yet filed). 2022’s operating loss alone was $190 million.

        Airbus looked at buying this plant from Bombardier back in 2019 but decided against it, allowing Spirit to buy it instead.
        Airbus already have two wing production plants in the UK so they’ll be looking at the benefits / risks / costs of moving the A220 wing production to one of their other plants.
        You may even see the UK government get involved as they won’t want to lose such an iconic name (over here anyway) and important provider of good quality jobs to Northern Ireland, which isn’t one of the richer parts of the UK.

        • As already stated, untangling this convolution to the satisfaction of all companies and anti-trust regulators involved, is going to be a major headache.
          Boeing can forget the fantasy of getting this deal done quickly.

  25. AW
    Lufthansa Airlines is anticipating further delays of its first Boeing 777-9 deliveries and now does not expect the first one to come until 2026, later than Boeing’s current plan, CEO Jens Ritter said.

    “We no longer believe that we will get the first aircraft in 2025,” Ritter, speaking to reporters during a Lufthansa event, said

    Just a note…..for those who are keeping track ..13 years after the launch of the 777x program

    • Over time almost all 777x customers have ordered A350s. The ones that put all their money on the 777x are probably scratching their heads. They see the performance estimation too..

      Customer number Boeing 777s ….. (A350s they have on ordered)

      Lufthansa 27 777x orders …. (54 A350-900, -1000 orders)
      Etihad Airways 25 777x orders …. ( 35 A350-1000, -F orders)
      Cathay Pacific 21 777x orders …. (54 A350-900, 1000, -F orders)
      Emirates 205 777x orders …. (65 A350-900 orders)
      Qatar Airways 74 777x orders …. (76 A350-900, -1000 orders)
      ANA 20 777x orders …. (no A350 orders)
      Singapore Airlines 31 777x orders …. (72 A350-900, -F orders)
      British Airways 18 777x orders …. (18 A350-1000 orders)
      Cargolux Airlines national 10 777x orders …. (no A350 orders)
      Silk Way West Airlines 2 777x orders …. (2 A350F orders)
      Air India 10 777x orders ….. (40 A350-900, -1000 orders)
      Ethiopian Airlines 8 777x orders ….. (35 A350-900, -1000 orders)

      Many of the 45 A350-900 customers consider adding / converting to (more) A350-1000s. Such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines. Other 777x prospects are/were on the fence (United, Delta, Korean, Qantas, Turkish, AA, AF/KLM) but have to commit at some point.

      • Hi, IIRC both KE and TK have recently placed orders for A350-900 & -1000.

      • @keesje
        It can be a self-fulfilling prophecy on orders. One of the elements you consider when buying an aircraft is whether there is a Tier2 market for used aircraft. I am having a hard time seeing where the 777X Tier2 market is.
        Half the reason why the airlines who bought the A380 are flying them is literally nobody else wants them. Either fly what you bought or take a massive writeoff.

    • Lufthansa is the launch customer for the type, with the first delivery supposed to take place in 2019. A few points:

      – With an expected acceptance in 2019, there have been airframes built and sitting there. If deliveries start in 2026, those airframes are going to be 7 years old.

      – 7 years late on the -9. I wonder what was given to airlines (beyond the increasing cash compensation account of some $4 billion in Inventory).

      – The -8 was supposed to enter service in 2022 and IIRC, it has been pushed back to 2030 (“Not before 2030” was the wording I believe). 8 years late.

      • Looks like there will be many 777X “terrible teens”, they might even be orphaned by Boeing and customers.

        • I haven’t seen/heard any rumors that major/complex hardware rework is coming up for the 777X ?

          • That’s my feeling:
            – Many frames is already completed
            – Certification has not begun yet
            – Similar 787 terrible teens
            – 777X has new fuselage design

          • “777X has new fuselage design”

            They tried to change the assembly process.
            Came out to nought.
            i.e. the future is the past.

          • @Uwe
            IIRC 777X fuselage has internal ribs with lower profile to widen the cabin width. Could that somehow related to the blown cargo door incident?

          • “slimmed down ribs, relation to blow out”

            difficult to say.
            IMU they tried to fudge the ultimate load test via pressurizing the fuselage to max overpressure.
            This alleviates compression loads in the skin.
            tube bending tests tend to have earlier failures (crumpling) on the compression side than on the tension side (ripping,stretching).
            The blown door may just have been fall out from over pressure, with less OP the fuselage may have failed elsewhere.

  26. Not sure if it’s mentioned before:

    AW: Alaska Airlines May Opt To Cull Future Boeing Deliveries
    Apr 18, 2024

      • American Airlines thanks them for their short sightedness

    • FG: Alaska receives $61m Boeing credit for Max 9 grounding
      Alaska received $162m cash compensation in Q1.

      • $223 Million, huh?

        There goes a $5 million margin (if BA is making that much) on the next 45 Max’s out the door.

        • More orders are coming …

          In the magic black box, you don’t need real # for input.

          • It’s noteworthy that AK chose to account for them mostly as a reduction to aircraft assets.

  27. “Brand-new Iberia Airbus A321XLR dressed in partial livery spotted for first time ”

    “One of eight A321XLR aircraft set to be delivered to Spanish carrier Iberia has been spotted for the first time at the Airbus facility in Finkenwerder, Hamburg, Germany. ”


    2024 Q3 starts in just 8 weeks.

  28. https://aviationweek.com/air-transport/airlines-lessors/lufthansa-sees-first-777-9-delivery-slipping-2026

    $$$ do fall from the sky*!?!

    “[Boeing] continues to tell Lufthansa that the airline’s first 777-9 will arrive next summer, Ritter said. […]

    But ongoing delays in getting type inspection authorization (TIA), the last critical step in the FAA’s certification process, suggest Boeing’s current timeline will be hard, if not impossible, to keep.

    Ritter said his understanding of Boeing’s current plan is that it is based on having obtained 777-9 TIA approval, which would kick off official certification flight test campaign, in March or April at the latest. […]

    Boeing told Aviation Week in June 2023 that it was ready for TIA “from an airplane standpoint.” But the ongoing delays suggest unresolved issues remain. […]

    Lufthansa is sending a large team over to Boeing the week of May 9 to discuss the situation and get more clarity*, Ritter said.

    • “..Summer 2026 at the earliest”. Good thing the customers will wait forever. That’s quite an article, BTW! TFTL.


    • Anyone get the feeling that BA thinks they control the timeline on this?

      You need a year, from TIA to EIS. If summer 2025 is the target then it better happen soon. But I’m guessing the FAA is more concerned right now, with the 90 day deadline…

    • Regarding the firefighters:

      First: let’s remember that exposé from a few weeks ago, detailing how Boeing had spent millions of dollars last year on *private* trips for various C-suite boys.

      Then: consider the following…
      “According to the union, it members respond to fires at Boeing work sites and train other Boeing employees on fire safety practices. The union said that its members earn “up to 30% less” than firefighters at nearby municipal fire departments, and that it would take workers 19 years to reach the top pay rate under Boeing’s most recent proposal.”


  29. Boeing has lost $32 billion since 2019, with no end in sight. How long can it keep losing money?

    “And the massive losses have resulted in the company’s debt level soaring, from $13 billion at the end of 2018 to $48 billion now.”

    “And the massive losses have resulted in the company’s debt level soaring, from $13 billion at the end of 2018 to $48 billion now.”

    ““It’s a long road back, it’s a decade-long process. But changing management is a very good first off ramp [to current problems],” said Aboulafia. “It’s a question of what the board is thinking.”


  30. UWE earlier said in part ” The blown door may just have been fall out from over pressure, with less OP the fuselage may have failed elsewhere.”

    Bpucky- if only ONE of the required 4 bolts used to keep the door latch system from moving up an inch or so, the door woul probalby not have blown out. perhaps a major leak. BTW wings and tubes often fail in compression- buckling on ‘top ‘ surface if bent up..

    • “Bpucky”

      you are talking to a mirror.

      read what I wrote ………… apply comprehension.

    • Uwe is talking about the 777X- which you would know had you read his comment.


    • May be Boeing just started playing the “Force majeure” card to avoid late delivery compensation?

    • Chickens come home to roost:

      ENORMOUS NEWS: Citing a buffer inventory* built up with falling pandemic production rates and an earlier supplier diversification effort, Boeing has suspended purchasing titanium from Russia. Titanium is a key ingredient in carbon fiber aircraft like the 787.

      IMO how over-emphasis of FCF comes back to haunt BA.

      • Lobbyists would start to call for sanctions on Airbus, unfair trade practice, RU etc.

      • Seeing as it’s producing so few planes, it doesn’t require much titanium any more 😂

  31. I love the article, but i`m not sure if it goes down to the deep causes of Boeings dramatic situation.

    Boeing has not seen enough pain in Max and Dreamliner issues. Compare it to VW who got mowed down for Dieselgate, had managers arrested and in jail, paid 60 bn.$ in fines and compensation.
    Or BP for Deepwater Horizon, which did also cost around 60 bn. $ total and had a fine of nearly 20 bn. $.

    Compare that to Max MCAS, which was way more criminal in it`s whole design – to not tell FAA about, to not tell the customers, to avoid sim training, etc.
    and which has really killed people.

    Boeing needs to change the culture, needs to change all processes, needs to change the staff or the mentality of the staff and management, as they put output and financials over quality and safety.
    That`s not easy to do.
    And it takes time.
    Long time, as the actual flawed products will be build for at least 2 more decades.

    I`m not sure if Boeing has seen enough force and setbacks, to drive this fundamental change.

    The authorities have been rather relaxed with Boeing, they have let them get away due to being of national significance.

    Right now, i still have the feeling that Boeings leadership thinks it`s a quick fix. Just deflaw the products, and then let`s do deals and sell Max, B787 and B777x.
    I don`t have the feeling Boeing is going for fundamental change, trying to change culture and procedures.
    They would need to turn around their whole management, incentive and controlling system. Even their performance measurement system, their development, quality control, supplier control, inspection policy, reporting etc. – basically everything has to be changed.

    I have not heard of any changes in that dimensions, and it will only show in years, when Boeing is trying to develop a new program.
    For now, i think Boeing tries to get away with a black eye. Fix the production issues now, somehow increase quality and then sell and produce as many planes as possible with cost as cheap as possible and financials as good as possible.

    And that was, what got them there in the first place.

  32. Obscene self-enrichment:

    “Boeing CEO David Calhoun’s 45% pay hike to $32.8 million should be rejected, shareholder advisory says”

    “Institutional Shareholder Services urged Boeing Co. investors to vote against a $32.8 million pay package for its chief executive officer, citing concerns over a special equity award and a “sizable increase” in his long-term incentive grant.

    “CEO David Calhoun’s 45% pay jump from the prior year should be rejected at the company’s annual meeting on May 17, the shareholder advising firm said in a new report. Calhoun said in March that he would step down at the end of 2024. ”


    • For anyone wondering why the 777X is not selling there you have it. You can literally not even give away a used A380

      • that said…will the 777x program have a early “scrap” out like the A380 due to no real tier 2 market for repurchase?

        777x -take 481 orders 13 years after launch, about 300 or so orders from middle east carrier (62%)….that’s only 181 from the rest of the world carriers

        compare that to A380 orders/deliveries 251 of which about 140 are middle east carriers (55%)…that about 90 from the rest of world carriers

        Lesson learned for Airbus and Boeing do not launch a new aircraft with a group of regional carriers that represent 55 to 60% of the market.



        • @Pritchard

          It is a very thin list of operators willing to fly B777X. Anyone taking delivery needs to be prepared to have zero Tier2 value. What is also telling is to see what early adopters of the B777 are doing. United was the launch customer but is largely replacing with B787. Same city pairs without the need of filling 400 seats.

          Its not that the majority of orders are Middle East. 40+% of the backlog is Emirates. You don’t design an airplanc around one customer.

          • “Emirates syndrome” when a commercial aircraft manufacturing company has signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition to launch a new commercial aircraft model based on a major of orders coming from one airline carrier.

          • IMHO:
            The Boeing injected “nothing but/better than P2P” Mantra
            will falter over the longer view. Just like its source.
            ( just like the Dreamliner meme successful injection does not mean that it is a super idea. PR targeting the cerebellum has no limits)
            Especially the Emirates “2 ( back to back ) hubs connected by Addidas network” is so much more efficient than connecting the spoke ends via P2P

            Issue: buying needed seats results in half the number frames ordered if they have double the capacity.

            Lufthansa used to have a rather well designed concept of capacity granularity.

    • I don`t see the connection of a dismantled A380 to Boeing and their issues.
      You might enlighten us on that.

      Korean has taken over Asiana, together they have almost every widebody available. 16 A380 and 10 B748.
      They simply don`t need that capacity and will part out the one or other to keep the other ones flying.
      So far so normal.

      • Whether or not that was @David Pritchard’s original point, his post has certainly precipitated a very interesting discussion, thanks to @Casey’s point, i.e. that there’s (now) no second-hand market for over-sized passenger aircraft. That’s a very important point for potential buyers of the 777X…which does, after all, have a competitor that’s 30 tons lighter.
        What’s the cumulative fuel bill per year for flying 30 tons around? If your 777X has a 95% load factor (or less), you could have used an A350 instead, with much lower trip costs.

        • @Abalone
          Now we are getting into other factors that affect sales…lessors.
          As i was scanning the list of backlog I did not notice any lessors in that list (maybe its the Wikipedia simply listing operators and not owners).
          The A380 was a bloodbath for lessors. They bought the airframes expecting to get full utilization and in the end are left begging Emirates to continue flying at cut-rate values because literally nobody else wants them. The other airlines not named Emirates have in some cases continued flying…not because they want to but because the only other option is the junk yard. That is a terrible write-down for an asset that large.
          Any airline looking at buying into an airframe should take caution if the lessors are not willing to commit. It amount to a vote of confidence.

          • You raise a very interesting point.

            Zero lessors have ordered the 777X.
            Seven lessors have ordered the A350.

  33. Riyadh is looking to place a new widebody order…and has already placed a covert narrowbody order (not yet announced).
    One wonders if they’re still charmed by Boeing, or have now decided to take a different path.


    “Saudi Arabia’s start-up airline, Riyadh Air, is in talks with Airbus and Boeing over a second wide-body aircraft order as it prepares to start operations in the summer of 2025.

    “The potential order is expected to be finalised by next year, Riyadh Air chief executive Tony Douglas told The National on Monday at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai.

    “Mr Douglas said the airline has also made a long-anticipated order for narrow-body jets, with the deal size and plane model to be announced within a “matter of months”.”

  34. From the Seattle Times article alluded to by @ Pedro:

    “…Boeing admitted that inspection records on work at the wing-to-body join were falsified at the jet’s final assembly site in South Carolina.

    “Boeing informed the FAA in April that on some 787s the company may not have completed required inspections to confirm adequate bonding and electrical grounding where the wings join the fuselage body.”

    “On April 29, Scott Stocker, 787 vice president and general manager at Boeing’s assembly plant in North Charleston, S.C., sent a message to all employees there telling them that one employee had noticed what was going on and spoken up about it internally.

    ““After receiving the report, we quickly reviewed the matter and learned that several people had been violating Company policies by not performing a required test, but recording the work as having been completed,” Stocker wrote.”

    “The FAA said Boeing is inspecting all 787 airplanes still within the production system and must also create a plan to address the in-service fleet.”


    The DOJ just got an extra reason to bin Boeing’s sweatheart DPA.

    “Just ship it”.

    • Background


      Figure 7: Lightning damage to a composite airplane
      Composite structures are less conductive than metal, causing higher voltages. This is the type of damage that can occur if a lightning protection finish is not applied or is inadequate.


      lightning-strike entrance and exit points. When looking at the areas of entrance and exit, maintenance personnel should examine the structure carefully to find all of the damage that has occurred.

      The conditional inspection is necessary to identify any structural damage and system damage prior to return to service. The structure may have burn holes that can lead to pressurization loss or cracks. The critical system components, wire bundles, and bonding straps must be verified as airworthy prior to flight. For these reasons, Boeing recommends that a complete lightning-strike conditional inspection should be performed prior to the next flight to maintain the airplane in an airworthy condition.

      Airplane lightning-strike zones are defined by SAE Aerospace Recommended Practices (ARP) 5414 (see fig. 8). Some zones are more prone to lightning strikes than others (see fig. 9). Lightning-strike entrance and exit points are usually found in Zone 1, but can very rarely occur in Zones 2 and 3. A lightning strike usually attaches to the airplane in Zone 1 and departs from a different Zone 1 area. The external components most likely to be hit are:

      Wing tips.
      Horizontal stabilizer tips.
      Vertical fin tips.
      Ends of the leading edge flaps.
      Trailing edge flap track fairings.
      Landing gear.
      Water waste masts.
      Air data sensors (pitot probes, static ports, angle of attack [AOA] vane, total air temperature probe).
      — goes on —

  35. I see Scott wrote that he’s not in favor of Boeing launching a new plane within the next few years due to the company’s current financial distress
    But this has never been Calhoun’s reason. He is against developing a new plane until there is a technological breakthrough that generates 30% efficiency improvement.
    So even if Boeing today or tomorrow were sitting on a mountain of cash there would be no new program, Calhoun would give it all to the shareholders.
    My point is, until Calhoun and all the like minded beancounters are banished from the C-suites AND the board, there will be no new airplane program, period, so if and how Boeing might finance a new plane is irrelevant.

    • @John
      I can think of a lot of reasons not to launch today, but financial would not even rate at the top of the list.
      Before a product launch, Boeing really needs to get at least 2 of 4 (Max7 / Max10 / 777-8 / 777-9) over the finish line…or maybe the 777-8 gets suspended and one of the others complete.
      Ideally, you would like to have a level-loaded investment profile on your product line-up. Waiting until 2030 and launching more than one program probably is not the best idea from labor planning.
      But the most obvious reason not to launch today starts with why there is a lopsided marketshare. Yes the A321 is more competivie than the Max10. The short answer is Boeing simply cannot make aircraft. If Boeing could get out of its own way…it would likely have something at least 40% marketshare.
      Airbus knows there is a limit to how far they can push marketshare before Boeing reacts. The AA campaign for the 737NG vs the A320neo proved that. Airbus will have a hard time launching something new while Boeing continues to trip over itself.

      • “Airbus knows there is a limit to how far they can push marketshare before Boeing reacts”

        Boeing can’t react — it has no money, and increasingly not enough skilled personnel, to do so.

        However, there’ll come a (dangerous) point at which this will become a political/patriotic matter in the US, at which juncture we may see some sort of political move, such as tariffs on Airbus products, restrictions on CFM sales, etc. That, in turn, will precipitate countermeasures from the EU, and everything will go downhill from there.

        In this regard, remember that the US election in November is currently a close race.


        “Airbus will have a hard time launching something new”

        Airbus is already steaming ahead with its LH2 program, without any similar action over at Boeing.


        “The short answer is Boeing simply cannot make aircraft.”

        There you go — you hit the nail right on the head!
        Next question: when will airlines start to realize/accept this?

        • @Abalone
          Probably should have worded my airbus comment better. Airbus will have a hard time ”justifying” a launch. You don’t launch something new when you are already dominating.
          As far as Boeing launching, we could have a spirited debate but there has to be some point where they hit the panic button and launch if things get too lopsided. Losing a few major customers my be the final nudge.

          • The next obvious launch is going to be the A220-500. Just a few points, though:

            – Airbus will want to own it outright and buy out the QC gov’t for their 25% share

            – The A320Neo backlog needs to be worked down, so they don’t cannibalize an already profitable and paid off program

            – They need to get up to 14 a month and then consider exercising the option they have on the land in Mirabel to expand the facility for more production space.

            Then comes decision time. And by that, I mean which way do they go?

            1) The cheap, quick and easy variant is a plug fore and aft of the wing, adding some 6 or 7 rows, so in a two class config, it stays just under 150 seats or 3 stews. You’ll have a loss of range (from the current 3,600 NM) and maybe some weight restrictions, but there it is.

            2) The second alternative is to re-vamp it, beef up structure, add fuel tanks and get the range to around 4,000 NM. As I understand it, this is what the likes of Air France, Delta, Breeze & Jetblue are wanting. A long range 150 pax NB.

            Who knows, maybe they make both a regular and XLR?

            Depends what the airlines want as a replacement and where the majority sit.


            But this will be the future AB lineup, from 100+ seats on up, The A220-100, -300, 500 and then onto the A321Neo, LR, XLR.

          • @Frank
            Likely an A220-500 would need different engines. The current isnstallation is going to be under-powered for what you really want to do with this variant. Next question is whether that is PW / CFM or both.

            But you are right. An A220-500 is really competing against themselves. It would make a lot more sense if Airbus re-winged the A320 family and up-gaged the A321 variants.

          • @Casey

            Word from the shop in Mirabel is that the quick and dirty plug version is fine with the existing engines and the design has been sitting in a filing cabinet, having already been flown and checked out on their software programs.

            It all depends on what the market wants. If the majority of the orders are for cheap and easy, then that’s where they’ll go. If airlines are willing to pay for the fully loaded enchilada…then that’s what’ll be done.

          • Probably a regular -500, and a “-600” LR. It may cannibalize the 320, but Airbus is probably looking down the road to the A320/321 replacement. A new NB with carbon fiber wings and other technology advancements. Hey, we’re not talking about Boeing McNerNo new builds here. Airbus is a top-flight outfit.

          • @Frank
            The problem with A220 is it’s a Bombardier, and thus has nothing in common with other Airbuses. So if an airlines is operating A32X, it’s better to buy more A32x than A220.

        • “That, in turn, will precipitate countermeasures from the EU, and everything will go downhill from there.”

          I doubt it. EU is not in a position where it would dare to start or even escalate a trade war with US. In last two decades it went from a first rate player to a football getting kicked between US and China.

          “Airbus is already steaming ahead with its LH2 program, without any similar action over at Boeing.”

          And it’s an incredibly risky bet. Boeing might be actually wise to just sit there and let Airbus find all the pitfalls of H2 technology. And only move after H2 infrastructure actually gets built (here is simple way how US can screw Airbus: just don’t build any H2 infrastructure on American airports until Boeing says ‘go’).

      • “Airbus knows there is a limit to how far they can push marketshare before Boeing reacts.”

        US politics will react just like they try to tag US deficiencies on “China’s unfair trade operations” and introduce measures from the box of “tilting the table upright” to gain some projected US advantages.

        i.e. massive throw their weight around.

    • Revocation of Boeing’s production certificate for the 787 just got a step closer.
      It was already close for the MAX.

      And things at Spirit are supposed to improve if the company is acquired by this circus?

      • Need to wonder, “what if” Boeing kept all 787 FAL in Everett. They wouldn’t be in this mess. You get what you pay for!

        • But then Boing couldn’t have broken the Union, and that’s what’s most important.. right?


          Boing Klown Kar

  36. Missing Program Development

    I thought something was missing.

    Someone elsewhere was trying to argue that BCA had only 3 aircraft to certify – Max 7, Max 10 & 777X. I pointed out that it was actually 5, as the 777X encompassed the 777-9, 777-8 & the 777X-8F.

    In the 2022 financials (and every year previous) BA had a timeline chart, which you can see on pg 34 here in Q4/2022:


    Program Development

    The following chart summarizes the time horizon between go-ahead and planned initial delivery for major Commercial Airplanes derivatives and programs.

    Go-ahead and Initial Delivery
    737-7 2011 2023
    737-10 2017 2024
    777X-9 2013 2025
    777X-8F 2022 2027

    Fast forward to Q4/2023 and


    Looking around pg 33 or 34. in the Program Highlights section and nothing regarding Program Developments is there.

    Poof. The table is gone. There is some wording like:

    “We are following the lead of the FAA as we work through the certification process of the 737-7 and 737-10 models. We continue to work with the FAA
    on open actions to support 737-7 certification. During the fourth quarter of 2023, the 737-10 program received approval from the FAA to begin the first phase of FAA certification flight testing.”

    “We are following the lead of the FAA as we work through the certification process including obtaining approval from the FAA to begin certification flight testing. We expect the first delivery of the 777-9 to occur in 2025 and the 777-8 freighter to occur in 2027. First delivery of the 777-8 passenger aircraft is not expected to occur before 2030.”

    Buried in the program highlights details, along with everything else, but no break out section. I guess it’s best not to draw attention to how long it’s taking.

    • Don’t you just love the passive language in that passage?
      “We are following the lead of the FAA”

      Translation: we’re helpless without self-cert, and we’re trying to lean on the FAA as a father figure to guide us home in the dark.
      No hint of a proactive stance — just passive reaction.

      One wonders if Airbus and Embraer are similarly lacking in proactive initiative in their contact with regulators…not likely 👀

      • I think BA got caught with it’s hand in the proverbial cookie jar and while, pre-Max crashes, they might have been able to slip things through – that day has ended.

        Which is why certification is taking so long.

  37. More A380 return to service:

    On the same day Emirates announced it will completely refurbish another 43 A380s and 28 Boeing 777 aircraft, expanding its retrofit programme to 191 aircraft.

    ‘Emirates CEO tells us that Boeing Needs to Get Faster, Stick to Promises With the “delay that we see, I don’t think we’re happy,” Emirates Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said


  38. Airbus unveiled Tuesday an order in April from an unidentified customer for 51 A321neos.


    Allegiant expects to take delivery of six 737 MAXs this year, down from the planned 12. Delivery of the carrier’s first MAX is now expected in the third quarter.


    Sneaked into the FAA reauthorization bill: a 5-year life extension for Boeing’s 767 freighter that was due to expire at the end of 2027 due to a new international emissions standard.

    Is this enough to save BA??

    • Ahh, that extension- long predicted by some here- for the ICAO non-compliant Boing 767F is *so* telling..

      “rules for thee, but not for me..”

    • A B767 extension by no means saves Boeing. It is a nice pick-up. It also fits nicely into a bid for another tranche of tankers.

    • This year so far, customers have ordered 136 A321 vs 10 A320. There is almost no reason to buy a A320. Soon 80% of yearly A32X deliveries will be A321. At that point I guess Airbus can proceed with the A32Xnw with all-new foldable wings, with two version: A321 and A322.

  39. China’s COMAC to expand Shanghai C919 plane factory as orders grow

    “The completion of the project will meet the future batch production needs of the C919 large passenger aircraft, effectively improving its production efficiency and providing strong support for the commercial operation and market competition of domestically produced big aircraft,” it said.”

    “The second phase of the project, according to AVIC-CAPDI, mainly includes the construction of assembly plant, parts warehouse, and tarmac area.”

  40. BREAKING: FedEx Boeing 767-300SF (N110FE, built 2014) landed with its nosegear up on runway 16R at Istanbul-Intl Airport(LTFM), Turkey. Earlier flight #FX6238 from Paris-CDG reported problems in extending the nosegear and did a low-pass over the runway for a visual gear inspection. No injuries reported.


  41. “John Hart-Smith is famous within Boeing. A stout internal critic, a champion of the engineers, he forewarned management that its shortsighted financial focus would be ruinous An expert on airplane structures, he assesses Sam Salehpour’s 787 gap allegations


    ‘Boeing’s explanation has been shifting and conflicting on this crucial issue for years. The FAA will have the final word. But Hart-Smith is right about the “shoot the messenger” culture at Boeing. It creates a chilling environment for conscientious engineers, like our client.


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