Boeing


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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

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.