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Thu, Nov 29, 2012

Boeing: Dreamliner Production On Track For 10 Airplanes Per Month

Execs Say They Are Looking To Cut Costs To Achieve Profitability

Boeing executives say that the company is on track to boost Dreamliner production to 10 airplanes a month by the end of 2013, but that the repairs that need to be done to some of the early airplanes could stretch into 2015.

Speaking in a conference call with RBC Capital Markets analysts and investors, 787 program head Larry Loftis said that some of the later models which need to be re-worked ... those that require fewer modifications ... can be rolled off the ramp by the end of next month. But some of the first airplanes that came off the line and need extensive modifications could be in the shop until 2015.

The Seattle Times reports that Senior Vice President Pat Shanahan said during the conference call that final assembly is currently divided between three production lines ... two in Everett and one in South Carolina. As production ramps up to 10 airplanes per month, Shanahan said he anticipates 70 percent of the airplanes will be made in the Puget Sound region, while the east coast facility will produce 30 percent. Now, he said, the company is starting to look at cost savings.

Loftis said that delivery of major structural components for the -9 version of the Dreamliner are starting to be built. Final assembly on the first 787-9 should begin in the 2nd quarter of next year, and the airplane should fly within a year after assembly begins.

FMI: www.boeing.com

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