Boeing may look to the MidEast after unions reject Seattle 777X plan

US planemaker said it will continue to look at sites in "this part the world" and already produces parts in Abu Dhabi

A Boeing 777 engine. The US planemaker has not ruled out moving some or all of production of its new 777x aircraft to the Middle East after Seattle trade unions rejected their latest contract terms

A Boeing 777 engine. The US planemaker has not ruled out moving some or all of production of its new 777x aircraft to the Middle East after Seattle trade unions rejected their latest contract terms

US planemaker Boeing has not ruled out moving manufacturing of all or part of its new 777X aircraft to the Middle East after American labour unions rejected the terms of a new contract to build the aircraft at its base in Seattle, a senior executive said.

Boeing had been in talks with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers since March to negotiate an eight-year contract extension to build the 777X aircraft at its base in Seattle, in the north western US state of Washington.

The offer was rejected in a vote by a 2-1 margin on Wednesday, putting up to 31,000 jobs in the Seattle area at risk and forcing the planemaker to seek an alternative production location.

“Unfortunately the union voted down the agreement and we are going to continue to march forward... As you know we will continue to look at other alternatives in terms of where we might produce major components and/or final assembly of the aircraft as it relates to this part the world and other parts of the US,” Marty Bentrott, Boeing senior vice president for international sales, said at a press conference ahead of the Dubai Airshow when asked if the Middle East might be chosen an alternative to Seattle for production of components for the new 777 aircraft.

Bentrott also dismissed claims the 777x production had been accelerated in order to compete with rival Airbus: “There is no change is schedule relative to the programme and we are still on the schedule we were talking about with entry into service of mid 2020. All this hype that was related to accelerated production is not factually based.”

Boeing already has a relationship with UAE aerospace company Strata, a unit of Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle Mubadala. Last year, Boeing and Mubadala announced a 10-year direct contract to produce commercial composite aerostructures for the 777 and 787 Dreamliner at Strata’s facility in Al Ain, as well as signing a strategic agreement for Strata to be a future supplier of the vertical fin for the 787 Dreamliner.

“We are very committed to our relationship with Strata,” said Jeffrey Johnson, president of Boeing Middle East. “What is exciting about our Strata partnership is we will be building the 787 vertical fin out there in a few years so think about the pride of this nation and its capacities to deliver a major composite air structure like that.”

Production of parts of the 777X in the Middle East would make a strong business case as the region has shown high interest in the aircraft and it is widely rumoured Dubai’s Emirates will confirm a large order for around 175 twin engine Boeing 77X aircraft at this week’s Dubai Airshow, with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad and Qatar Airways also believed to be interested in buying additional 777 aircraft.

Emirates is already actively involved in the designing of the 777X, Bentrott confirmed in September. “Boeing is partnering with key 777 customers such as Emirates in the design of the 777X,” a spokesperson said.

Bentrott told reporters at a briefing in Seattle this summer Boeing was “actively engaged with Emirates on the next generation 777 and as the largest 777 customer in the world, they deserve our focus and our attention.”

The Dubai carrier currently has 194 aircraft in services and is due to start retiring its existing 777 fleet in 2017. “From our stand point, this family of airplane needs to be effective for Emirates’ business plan because their vision is they have a 777 replacement cycle starting towards the end of this decade,” Bentrott added.

The 777X will have a range capability of around 9,300 miles and will be able to carry up to 360 passengers, but will be 20 percent more fuel efficient than the existing versions.

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Posted by: Way-to-go

No problem with companies adding to the world economy by producing "value-added good", no materials of warfare! Way-to-go Boeing

Posted by: Steve

The greedy unions will cause manufacturing as well as other businesses to move on until them and government regulations will cause them to leave the country entirely. Look where it came from and where it's going and you can see the handwriting on the wall already.

Posted by: Mr Thom

I live in Charleston SC and we are very happy to have Boeing and the thousands of jobs here. The union organizers are at the plant every day trying to tell the employees what a great deal the union would give them if they just voted them in. They really think the employees are that stupid. Union membership is at an all time low and their days are limited.

Posted by: Mourning Democracy

Responding to your Ignorance: It is not clear who the "we" are you're talking about. Boeing at Puget or in the Middle East?
Regardless, if what you are saying is accurate, which is highly unlikely because you impugn the entire Boeing organization's quality control, then it appears as if there is a much larger rift within the Boeing corporate structure than meets the eye -- even to the point where the company would tolerate faulty manufacturing at one plant purely because it is not where "we" are. Now that's what you may call ignorance.
You sound more like a shop-floor cleaner who heard coffee-time chatter than someone with insight into the issues.

Posted by: Responding to your ignorance

First of all.. Before you start tooting your own horn.. Maybe you should consider that you guys are struggling to build one airplane compared to the 10 we are building every month! Customers don't even want to buy planes that comes from BSC. It wasn't long ago that the lower aft section of a 787 you guys built in BSC flew off in flight! The planes you guys build are flown to Everett to fix all the stuff you messed up on it. We have the knowledge and skills to built them right the first time! You guys actually cost the Boeing Company money, and everyone knows it.

Posted by: Gene1938

No surprise if you follow the money!
Our One World [NWO] leaders who [are the puppeteers of our administration, legislators, lobbyists and judges and] control and derive the profits from all the major industries, trust funds and international financing, care less about the devastation and carnage placed on our Constitution and the masses of our country.
These evil leaders do not know God and easily support and co-exist with any Satanic influenced country.
This secretive cabal owns the Federal Reserve Banks and funded [with our tax dollars] the creation of the League of Nations which evolved into the UN. The UN charters the World Bank and owns the International Monetary Fund.
The strength of USA must be destroyed for the One World leaders can control the worlds economy and masses via the UN.

Posted by: MapleValley

Thank you for explaining that Mr McNerny is a white collar extortionist!

Posted by: Stephen Brown

Unfortunately for you, Gene1938, the so-called 'secretive cabal' as you have described them, are represented by the Unions, not the Company.
The NWO wants to destroy the West's industrial capability and return us all to a pre-industrial, agrarian culture. Boeing, on the other hand, wants to create jobs, to bring financial security to many and to ensure that America continues to thrive.
Look to the ongoing depredations of Industry levied by your socialist President. He is one of the New World Order, one who believes that we should all be ruled by the unelected United Nations.

Posted by: Mr. Miller

Same old "Union tactics"! I worked for the AFL-CIO, Retail Clerks, and UAW in my younger years. Saw how the union handled the strike at the Sun Oil plant in Toledo, Ohio. Run management personnel into the ditch and beat them to attempt to halt production while on strike. Always same old Mafia tactics, lying and strongarm tactics.
Same when I worked at Champion Spark Plug, I read about increased union dues to support the UAW while they were striking in Detroit. But when I try to opt out of paying the increase, they say pay or you're fired. When I point to the article in the newspaper, they say, "We tell the papers whatever we want them to hear"! Except the truth!

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