Thu, Oct 26, 2006
Trouble For The Dreamliner? Boeing Says No
The decision to close
down its Connexion inflight internet business cost Boeing a bundle
in the third quarter... as profits at the American aerospace
manufacturer fell 31 percent compared to a year ago. That loss
comes as Boeing reported its greatest sales increase in five years,
with a 19 percent increase compared to a year ago.
Bloomberg reports deliveries also soared... with 100 planes
heading out the door in the past three months. But the costs
associated with dumping Connexion had a definite impact... with net
income declining to $694 million, compared to $1.01 billion last
Some of the drop also came from an additional $1 billion
investment in R & D for the upcoming 787 Dreamliner program...
to insure that program hits its target dates, in a move CEO James
McNerney called "pretty aggressive contingency planning."
"We are at that point in the 787 development program where
weight is a dogged issue," McNerney said. "We know what we have to
McNerney also acknowledged Boeing is working off one of eight
contingency plans the company developed to handle potential issues
with the Dreamliner project. For the moment, Boeing is handling
much of the work originally meant to be delegated out to suppliers
-- a common occurrence in the early stages of the development of a
However, Boeing will have to get those duties back in suppliers'
hands as soon as it can, in order to be able to hit its price and
delivery targets for the composite-bodied airliner.
It's also difficult to ignore similar difficulties have stymied
the Airbus A380 program -- although Boeing says its problems aren't
nearly as extreme as those currently facing its European rival.
"We don't have the complexity on our plane that you see on the
A380 behemoth," said Chief Financial Officer James Bell.
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