Like a cloudburst erasing a rainbow, Boeing
Early this week, the aerospace giant's stock rose on evidence that its sales drought was finally ending. Canada's WestJet was buying 14 Boeing 737-700 airplanes at a sticker price exceeding $800 million. According to its running tally, this brings Boeing's net new orders for the year to date to 47. (A vast improvement over the zero orders we were looking at just two months ago.)
But no sooner had Boeing scored this coup than out came the bad news. Over in Germany, patience is wearing thin at Air Berlin, where Aviation Week overheard the company's CEO grumbling about repeated delays in delivery of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. According to AB's boss, this is "no fun anymore."
I suspect the quip elicited chuckles from fellow toe-tappers Delta
So if Air Berlin's boss is getting just a wee bit weary of performance that's "everything but satisfactory" at Boeing, you can understand his chagrin. From the top o' the supply chain where suppliers like Honeywell
Now here's the good news
As I argued last week, it's not so much the 787's technical glitches that have everyone upset. We know it's a novel airplane design. We expect glitches. But we don't expect Boeing to repeatedly set deadlines and then miss them. "Overpromise, underdeliver" is no way to run a business.
Which is why I was perversely pleased to see last week's rumor that the 787 test flight would come in November or December go uncommented upon by Boeing until its meticulous "Z18" planning document, which dictates all facets of the 787's production process, is fully finalized. Sure, it will be nice if "FlightBlogger" is right, and this nightmare is finally coming to an end. But from my perspective, it's much more important that Boeing gets it right this time.
Foolish final plea
No more missed deadlines, Boeing. You promised us a workable plan for bringing the 787 to market by the end of September. You've got six weeks left to make that happen. Use the time well. Get it right.