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Most countries, counties, cities and jurisdictions have found the importance of honoring certain people in their societies who have contributed to the greatest good. They do so by naming important installations, assets, streets, buildings, stadiums, airports, etc. after them.      

 

 

We at the Zambian Chronicle believe the time for the Zambian Enterprise to do just that has come. Next week we will be celebrating the 83rd birthday of our First Republican President HE Kenneth David Kaunda.

 

As a disclaimer none of us at the Chronicle has a vested interested in Dr. Kaunda at all, and we are embracing this purely based on principle and merit considering what the founding president did for our nation.

 

For some individuals, it is inextricably hard to believe that Dr. Kaunda did many great things for the sake of the Enterprise and we understand that but overall intellectual honesty testifies to the fact that if “we the people” do not appreciate him, others will to our own shame.

 

The British did not fully recognize Winston Church as a national hero, and they got a rude awakening when President John F Kennedy (US) in 1963 honored the Nobel Prize winner.

 

Churchill was honored again on November 29, 1995 by President Clinton. In an appearance that day before the British Parliament, President Clinton said, “I am pleased to announce here, the home of British freedom, that the United States will name one of the newest and most powerful of its surface ships, a guided missile destroyer, the United States Ship Winston Churchill.

 

Former US president Bill Clinton (l) talking to the first president of Zambia Dr Kenneth Kaunda at Lusaka Polo Club  on Saturday - Picture by Thomas Nsama“When that ship slips down the ways in the final year of this century, its name will ride the seas as a reminder for the coming century of an indomitable man who shaped our age, who stood always for freedom, who showed anew the glorious strength of the human spirit,” Clinton said.

 

To that effect we believe that in commemoration of his anniversary, Lusaka International Airport be renamed as Kenneth Kaunda International Airport. There several airports around the world that are named after important people even on our continent, Johannesburg International is now named after O R Tambo.

 

It was formerly officially known as Johannesburg International Airport and before that as Jan Smuts International Airport (explaining the airport’s ICAO code, FAJS) after the South African statesman of that name.

 

The first renaming was done in 1994 when the newly reformed South African government implemented a national policy of not naming airports after politicians. The policy was however reversed later, and the airport renamed again on 27 October 2006 after Oliver Tambo, the former President of the African National Congress (ANC).

 

On Dr. Kaunda’s birthday anniversary we at the Chronicle will be chronicling several accomplishments classy-daddy-3.gifthe former president did for the Enterprise and we will reinforce our calling for Lusaka International Airport to be renamed after him.

 

It is time, and that time is now to name one of the nation’s major installations after Dr. Kaunda; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

 

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

 

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

 

Copyrights © 2008 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc

 

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HONG KONG –

China’s first home-built airliner was set to meet the world Friday.

The state-controlled China Aviation Industry Corp. I, or AVIC I, the nation’s biggest plane manufacturer, was scheduled to roll out its first completed regional jet, the ARJ21-700, at a 600 million yuan ($81 million) assembly facility in Shanghai.

China hopes that the ARJ21, or Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century, will be competitive with regional jets made by Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer (nyse: ERJnews people ).

China is in the midst of a major expansion of its air network, and it would like to make sure that a good chunk of the spending stays in the country.

The government is currently carrying out a five-year plan to buy 500 jets and build 48 airports. Boeing projects that Chinese carriers will spend $340 billion over the next two decades to buy 3,400 planes. (See: ” Boeing Raises Forecast For Chinese Plane Demand“)

The ARJ21-700 is designed to carry 78 to 90 passengers on flights of 1,200 to 2,000 sea miles, making it capable of serving on more than 98% of domestic routes.

After an online vote by 400,000 Chinese netizens, the model has been named xiangfeng, which means flying phoenix, AVIC I said Friday.

The maiden flight of the short-haul plane is scheduled for March. AVIC I has received 73 orders for the plane from domestic carriers and aircraft leasing companies, including Shandong Airlines Co., Shanghai Airlines Co. and the government of Laos. The state-run aircraft manufacturer plans to begin delivering planes to customers in September 2009.

At the Paris Air Show earlier this year, Bombardier Aerospace, the world’s No. 3 aircraft maker, entered into an agreement to help the Chinese company develop an extended 90- to 149-seat version of the ARJ21-700 that will meet certification standards for use in the West. The Canadian aviation behemoth will help its Chinese partner to market the jet overseas, receiving royalties on sales. (See ” Bombardier To Help China Reach Skies“)

China’s state-controlled aviation industry also is working to produce jumbo jets by 2020, aiming to challenge Boeing (nyse: BAnews people ) and EADS (other-otc: EADSYnews people ) unit Airbus.

Source: FORBES.COM AIRLINES NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 25, 2007

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27 November 2007

Interview With Zenzo Nkomo audio clip

This week’s decision by Zambia Airlines to discontinue service to Harare dealt another blow to Zimbabwe’s battered international image, coming just a month after British Airways flights on the run saying they were no longer economically viable.

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Zambia Airlines also cited business losses which have been aggravated by the sharp decline of the Zimbabwe dollar reflecting hyperinflation of 15,000% annually.

South African-based political analyst Zenzo Nkomo told reporter Chris Gande of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the Zambian carrier’s discontinuation of the Harare-Lusaka route reflects the regional impact of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis.

Source: Voice Of America


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Dear Mumba Brainwave,Airbus is delighted to invite you to witness the start of a new era for airlines and passengers with the delivery of the first A380 to Singapore Airlines.

Visit our dedicated web site www.a380delivery.com
for a tantalising taste of this landmark event.

Let a fascinating assortment of stories and videos guide you through the A380 adventure.



It’s time to see the bigger picture… live!
15 October 2007
10:00 AM GMT+2
Browse through the work of some of the world’s leading photographers,
as they share their personal insight into this inspiring aircraft.
visit the photo gallery
Also seize this unique opportunity to share your views of the A380 with the world
by sending us a message to be published on the dedicated site.
contribute now!
At 10 am (GMT+2) on 15 October, join us for the final countdown and live streaming
of the delivery ceremony from Toulouse.
www.a380delivery.com
Then use the site to relive the event and follow the A380 as it enters
into commercial service, with the latest news and videos from Singapore Airlines.
You won’t want to log out!See you soon on Airbus.com

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Seattle Times staff columnist

Our relationships with the rest of the world need some updating.

Things are changing. A large delegation from Zambia was in Seattle this week making a case for investment, not charity, as the cure for poverty.

It’s an argument many in Africa have been making for years, usually in the other Washington.

While few in the world’s leading capitalist nation are biting, China is pouring money into the continent in search of influence and profit. In Zambia, the Chinese invest in mining, retail and construction.

Viewed from the U.S., Africa seems a solid mass of disease, war, unstable dictators and rampant corruption.

The Zambian delegation, including the country’s president, argued that this view is full of stereotypes that do not apply to their country.

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Zambia is a country of 12 million in southern Africa. Copper mining is central to the economy, but tourism, manufacturing and agriculture are growing.

The Zambians were invited way out west to Seattle by the Initiative for Global Development, which believes eradicating deep poverty would eliminate many of the ills, including diseases and conflicts, that afflict the planet.

Members call themselves “business leaders working to end poverty.”

Getting people out of poverty is the right thing to do, but it also can be profitable for business and relieve governments in developed nations of numerous international headaches.

The U.S ambassador to Zambia has said a stable Zambia contributes to the U.S. goal of peace, democracy and economic growth in southern Africa.

IGD was founded three years ago by Bill Gates Sr.; Daniel J. Evans, the former senator and governor; former EPA administrator Bill Ruckelshaus; Weyerhaeuser heir Bill Clapp; and John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The delegation also scheduled meetings at Starbucks, Microsoft, Boeing and elsewhere.

levy_combine300.gifAt the session I attended, the president, Levy Mwanawasa, and his ministers made a compelling case for investment. How’d you like to pay no taxes on business earnings?

They talked about their new zero-tolerance policy on corruption and their commitment to democracy, stability and economic growth.

And, said the minister of commerce, trade and industry, the weather is perfect.

What are we waiting for?

Well, actually, the weather isn’t perfect. It gets pretty hot there, and then there is the matter of infrastructure, and if they have cured corruption they are the only nation anywhere to have done so.

Zambia still has problems, but curing poverty would help solve them.

Business investment (not exploitation) is necessary.

Mwanawasa invited American entrepreneurs to visit and see that “the truth is the opposite of what you think is true.”

It’s not exactly the opposite, but Zambia seems to be at a point where investment could benefit Zambians and offer the U.S. new opportunities to make money and make friends.

Jerry Large’s column appears Monday and Thursday. Reach him at 206-464-3346 or jlarge@seattletimes.com.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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Seattle Times business reporter

GREG GILBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa battles stereotype of Africa in chaos.

Even for a country with a relatively stable democracy and growing economy, Zambia hasn’t had much luck finding Americans willing to invest there.

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa said he hopes to change that by introducing more Americans to his country and fighting the stereotype of Africa as a place defined by war and chaos.

Speaking to local business leaders Monday, Mwanawasa said Zambia has become a center of peace and prosperity in the region. The country has emerged from a long period of economic decline to achieve an average annual 5 percent growth in gross domestic product for the last five years.

“It’s the first time the country is experiencing such strong positive results,” the Zambian leader said, adding that sustaining the success could bring about an economic transformation to improve the lives of ordinary people.

The landlocked country of 12 million people in southern Africa still suffers from high unemployment and crippling poverty, with about 68 percent of the population falling below the poverty line of $1 per day.

Zambia has taken a strong stance against corruption and created a foundation based on the rule of law and respect for private property, Mwanawasa said.

The country’s main industries are copper mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.

A former British protectorate that gained independence in 1964, Zambia is encouraging more foreign direct investment and growth of the private sector to help reduce poverty.

“When you invest in Zambia, you’re putting GDP in the pockets of Zambian people,” Mwanawasa said.

Mwanawasa, 59, was in the United States for a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. He traveled here at the invitation of the Seattle-based Initiative for Global Development, a national network of business leaders promoting policies to end global poverty.

He and a delegation of senior government officials and business leaders were scheduled to visit the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, Microsoft, Boeing and Starbucks on Monday.

Mwanawasa said he had dinner Sunday at the house of former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz, a Zimbabwe native who lives on Mercer Island.

While Zambia has had a rush of investment from China recently, attracting U.S. business has been an uphill battle.

On previous visits to the U.S., “the response hasn’t been encouraging,” Mwanawasa said.

“So far Africa has been known only for the bad news,” said Felix Mutati, Zambia’s minister of commerce. “In Africa, we’ve got problems with HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases,” he said, “but we’re not a diseased country.”

In Zambia, the Gates Foundation funds a malaria-control program run by PATH that aims to cut malaria cases by 75 percent and become a model for the rest of Africa.

Zambia has introduced incentives to encourage foreign enterprises, such as tax-free profits for the first five years and duty-free imports of capital equipment, said Mutati.

Energy, IT infrastructure, agriculture and eco-tourism are promising areas for development, he added.

“We don’t want help,” Mutati said. “We want investment. We want partnership.”

Zambia’s slide into poverty began after world copper prices fell in the 1970s. Since then, the economy has become somewhat more diversified, even as the price of copper has climbed.

The government began privatizing the copper industry in the 1990s. Copper contributed 75 percent of the GDP in 2002 but only about 45 percent last year, said Mutati.

Asked about the political and economic crisis in neighboring Zimbabwe, Mwanawasa called the situation “extremely worrying” but added that economic sanctions will not help.

He threatened to boycott a European-African summit meeting in December if Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was excluded, saying Western leaders must be willing to talk to the leader widely considered an international pariah.

The chaos in Zimbabwe has choked off tourism, diverting more visitors to Zambia to see Victoria Falls, the spectacular milewide waterfall on the border between the two countries.

With room for only about 1,500 visitors, hotels in nearby Livingstone can’t cope with the influx, Mutati said. Its tiny airport, which had just a few flights a week three years ago, has 28 flights a week now. Several new hotels are under construction.

While Chinese companies have been criticized for labor practices in Africa, overall the influx of investment from China has been a good thing, Mutati said.

Cautious Western companies have hesitated too long. “They would go on their computers and do spreadsheets about risk,” he said, while “the Chinese make a decision first.”

Chinese have invested $900 million in Zambia for two economic zones focused on copper and agricultural processing, creating 60,000 jobs.

“Now we can see the West is saying we must run to Africa because if China dominates Africa, that sphere of influence can become critical as we go forward,” Mutati said.

Zambia also needs American-style business, said Wamulume Kalabo, chairman of the Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

U.S. companies tend to hire and train local people, with English as a common language. Chinese companies tend to hire their own citizens to work in Zambia’s mines and manufacturing sites because of the difficulty of communicating.

“The local people are not seeing the benefit initially,” Kalabo said, “because very few of them are being absorbed into the system, and the main reason is the lack of communication.”

Kristi Heim: 206-464-2718 or kheim@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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The Zambian Enterprise is not only the largest producer of copper in Africa; it also has a perfect track record to enable it to vie for a “World Class Credit” rating.

Usually referred to as “first credit” in economic terms, the rating would enable Zambia to issue international bonds and enter the elite class with incentives similar to those in developed nations.

Should this take place, Zambia whose economy currently accounts for only 1 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s $544 billion economy, would be the third country on the continent to issue such bonds.

“… if we went for a rating, we’d be able to issue a euro-kwacha bond for example … the country will probably seek its debut rating “shortly,” … there has never been a better time than this … with a buoyant economy and a good track record, I think it’s about the right time to subject ourselves to a rating,”… said the Manchester educated and one time professor of economics at the University of Zambia now Bank of Zambia Governor – Dr. Caleb Fundanga without being date specific.

The European Investment Bank, the finance arm of the European Union, in December 2006 sold 500 million pula of senior unsecured bonds, with settlement and payment in euros, the first-ever international issue in Botswana’s currency, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

South Africa, the continent’s largest economy and Botswana, the nation with the highest rated debt in the continent, are the only southern African nations with foreign currency denominated bonds.

Zambia has a lot of support and may need to fully capitalize on that support if reality has to come. Out-going World Bank country manager was one of Zambia’s strongest advocates to the same.

“… Zambia is clearly one of the countries where the impact of debt relief has been massive and could be very clear,” Ohene Nyanin, the former World Bank’s country manager based in Lusaka, said in an interview. “It is a very big fiscal space that has been opened up.”’

The country’s inflation rate dropped to single digits for the first time in 30 years in April 2006 as the government moved to control spending. Zambia has also benefited from a fivefold rise in the price of copper, which accounts for 53% of the enterprise’s income.

International bonds are a certificate of debt issued by a government or corporation guaranteeing payment of the original investment plus interest by a specified future date and have the ability to increase cash inflows at an accelerated rate thereby increasing a country’s liquidity.

classy-daddy-3.gifTwo to three years ago, I introduced a bond phenomenon on Zambia Online and even suggested the issuance of bonds as a debt instrument necessary for capitalizing the New Zambia Airways as a private enterprise.

It was to be privately driven and ran; some nay sayers rose up to short the idea down but yet even today more experts are vying for a bond rating that would elevate the country’s standing as well as help grow our economy above 7% come next year.

It is highly feasible that some critics were new to the subject and saw no benefit to the Zambian Franchise at all … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

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 classy-daddy-3.gif

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am glad to inform our audience and patrons that we have finally broken the supersonic speed of language barriers here at the Zambian Chronicle. You can now read your favorite blog in seven (7) different languages from around the world. 

It is believed that every single human being alive who is literate enough to both read and excogitate can understand one of these languages or at least a dialect of the same. We were prompted to add this feature due to increased traffic and the kind of inquires were receiving from those who have visited our site. Our blog stat info was outstanding … 

For instance, when we posted the Zambia Leads The World – Least Expensive/Fastest Adoption Programs article, we received referrals from all over the world as people were interested in knowing and learning about Adoption Programs the Zambian Enterprise offered. When we posted Just Who Is Carlos Slim – The World’s Richest Man? we received inquires from all over the world, I guess people of all faiths, languages, economic status, styles and backgrounds were interested in knowing who the new kid on the block was.

We don’t receive many comments but on that day a Spanish commentator left one in Spanish. A Weekend With Bill Clinton just brought in even more inquires and so did Hidden Secrets Of Lumwana – World’s Largest Undeveloped Deposits (Copper, Gold, Cobalt & Uranium) and then we had visitors going back A Crush On Obama … America Votes’08 to the day we had the largest number of hits exceeding hundreds of readership was when we posted Best Ever US Ambassador To Zambia – Carmen M Martinez . 

Of course that record (Ambassador Martinez) was broken today when we first published the translated French Version of the Zambian Chronicle; we are very sensitive to the needs of our audience therefore the decision to add more versions.  

We, at the Zambian Chronicle are committed to serving the entire world in letting every one know about the good tidings concerning our country. We are also committed to changing and helping shape the world view of the Zambian Enterprise and what better ways to do that than using our abilities coupled with synergies technology has to offer, welcome aboard … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc. 

He finally jetted in Friday afternoon and Zambia had her weekend romance with Bill Clinotn. Upon arrival the former US president toured the warehouse with Philippe Douste-Blazy, chairman of the board of UNITAID, an organization formed last year by France and 19 other nations that have earmarked a portion of their airline tax revenues for efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries. 

From there he went to a soccer tournament with former President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. Super Ken went ahead and presented a neckerchief to him; Clinton tore off his red tie Zambia's first president Kenneth Kaunda.and put on a green, red and yellow Boy Scout neckerchief presented to him by KK.  

At the tournament, the crowds and dignitaries were ecstatic as the young lads were having a bowl while as per his usual personality had to merriment them charmingly … “Most of the people in Africa, and in the world, who have the HIV virus … do not know it,” Clinton quizzed.

State House was eagerly waiting and he finally arrived at 14:35 Zambian time on Saturday as Zambian officials vied for photos with him some complimenting him for his leadership … “You were great in office, and you are even greater out of office,” Zambia’s health minister, Brian Chituwo, said in a speech. 

Levy Mwanawas Zambian presidential candidate President Clinton appended his autograph to the State House guest book and had over an hour closed-door meeting with HE Levy P Mwanawasa, SC.  Zambian dignitaries in attendance included Foreign Affairs minister Mundia Sikatana, Zambia’s ambassador to the United States Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika and other senior government officials. 

After his meeting at State House, President Clinton arrived later on Saturday evening at Arcades Mall around 19:30 for an unannouced dinner. Shoppers were thrilled to see the former leader of the free world and an excitement frenzy enthused. It was a rockstar moment; President Clinton left immediately after dinner.Former US president Bill Clinton (l) talking to the first president of Zambia Dr Kenneth Kaunda at Lusaka Polo Club  on Saturday - Picture by Thomas Nsama

He jetted out this afternoon for Tanzania where he held meetings with political leaders on the mainland and in Zanzibar in an effort to break down the remaining resistance to expanding AIDS initiatives.

Zambia and South Africa fall under the “Procurement Consortium Group” while Malawi and Tanzania are under the “Partnership Group” within the Clinton Global Initiative strategies.

President Clinton is expected back in the United States of America by Tuesday and the Zambian Chronicle wishes him God Speed and a safe trip back home … thanks a trillion. 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.           

EVERETT, Washington (AP) — Boeing has raised the curtain on its first fully assembled 787 to an audience of thousands who packed into its wide-body assembly plant for the plane’s extravagantly orchestrated premiere.

“Our journey began some six years ago when we knew we were on the cusp of delivering valuable new technologies that would make an economic difference to our airline customers,” Mike Bair, vice president and general manager of the 787 program, told the crowd.

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/787/      http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/gallery/images/commercial/787/k63450-03.html       http://widebodyaircraft.nl/b787.htm

“In our business, that happens every 15 years or so, so you’ve got to get it right.”Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney said the 787 will bring about a “dramatic improvement in air travel: to make it more affordable, comfortable and convenient for passengers, more efficient and profitable for airlines, and more environmentally progressive for our Earth.

Boeing has won more than 600 orders from customers eager to hold the jet maker to its promise that the midsize, long-haul jet will burn less fuel, be cheaper to maintain and offer more passenger comforts than comparable planes flying today.

The 787, Boeing’s first all-new jet since airlines started flying the 777 in 1995, will be the world’s first large commercial airplane made mostly of carbon-fiber composites, which are lighter, more durable and less prone to corrosion than aluminum.To date, Boeing has won 677 orders for the 787, selling out delivery positions through 2015, two years after Airbus SAS expects to roll out its competing A350 XWB. Thirty-five of those orders came Saturday, with Air Berlin ordering 25 and a Kuwaiti company taking 10 for Kuwait Airways.

In a rare tip of the hat to the competition, Airbus congratulated Boeing on the 787, whose commercial success has chipped away at the edge the European plane maker once held over its Chicago-based rival.

“Even if tomorrow Airbus will get back to the business of competing vigorously, today is Boeing’s day — a day to celebrate the 787,” Airbus co-CEO Louis Gallois said in a letter to McNerney.

“Today is a great day in aviation history. Whenever such a milestone is reached in our industry it is always a reflection of hard work by dedicated people inspired by the wonder of flight,” the letter said.Airbus customers forced it to redesign the A350, which pushed back production. Airbus also has faced problems with its A380 superjumbo, which has been hit with delays that slashed profit projections for Airbus’ parent company, European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co.

Boeing hired former NBC “Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw to serve as master of ceremonies for the 787 premiere — held, probably not coincidentally, on 7-08-07 — which was broadcast live on the Internet and on satellite television in nine languages to more than 45 countries.

The company rolled out red carpet and set out roughly 15,000 seats for spectators at one end of the 787 factory north of Seattle.The company invited thousands of its employees and retirees to watch via satellite at the NFL stadium where the Seattle Seahawks play, and it hosted viewing parties for 787 customers and suppliers in dozens of other locations around the globe.

Final assembly of the first 787 started in late May, after a gigantic, specially outfitted superfreighter started flying wings, fuselage sections and other major parts to Boeing’s wide-body plant, where they essentially get snapped together, piece by huge piece.

Once production hits full speed, the company expects each plane to spend just three days in final assembly, but this time, Boeing workers spent several weeks installing electrical wiring and other innards that suppliers will eventually stuff into their sections of the plane before they’re delivered to the assembly plant.

Boeing decided to handle that work in-house for the first few planes rather than risk any production delays.Despite a few snags the company says it anticipated — including an industry-wide shortage of fasteners brought on by a surge in demand for new jets in recent years — Boeing officials say nothing so far has threatened to bump the 787 behind schedule.

The first test flight is expected to take place between late August and late September. The plane is set to enter commercial service next May after Japan’s All Nippon Airways receives the first of the 50 Dreamliners it has ordered.

All Nippon Airways executives acknowledged Sunday that Boeing faces production challenges, but they said they’re doing what they can to make sure they get their plane on time next spring.“We know it’s not easy to make that deadline. However, we will support Boeing, and we will work with them so that the deadline can be met,” Osamu Shinobe, executive vice president of corporate planning for All Nippon Airways Co., said before Sunday’s rollout ceremony.

The 787 that debuted Sunday will serve as the first of six flight-test airplanes, while two other planes will be used for static and fatigue tests. The ninth plane off the assembly line will be the first one delivered to All Nippon.

The 787-8, the first of three 787 models Boeing has committed to making, has an average list price of $162 million, though customers typically negotiate discounts on bulk orders.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.