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Boeing steals the show at the Dubai Airshow

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, lower center right, followed by Emirati officials and international delegations arrive for the opening day of 12th edition of the Dubai Airshow in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday Nov. 17, 2013. Boeing kicked off the Dubai Air Show with a record-setting number of orders and commitments worth more than $100 billion. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

The Seahawks had a great day on Sunday, but Boeing’s day was even better.

The company kicked off the Dubai Airshow with a record-setting number of orders and commitments worth more than $100 billion.

It was Boeing’s biggest day ever, as the company officially launched the 777X.

Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa made orders and commitments for 259 of the new fuel efficient jets. Those deals are worth $95 billion, at list prices. The company also took orders and commitments for 737s and 787s. Boeing’s total take for day one of the air show, 342 airplanes worth over $101 billion.

“Oh man, it was a special day,” Boeing Vice President of Marketing Randy Tinseth told KIRO Radio from Dubai. “We launch a new airplane. We have a milestone in our 1000th 787 order. I mean a $100 billion day. I mean this is going to be one day that I’ll remember for my entire Boeing career.”

There has been a lot of talk about where the plane will be built in Dubai, now that Boeing machinists refused that eight-year contract extension that would have guaranteed the plane would be built in Washington.

Tinseth said that’s the one part of this big day that was a disappointment. “I think the only thing that would have made it a better day is if we had some certainty as to where we’re going to build the airplane,” he said. “Now we’re in a position where all of our options are open, but it would have sure been great to be able to say definitively that we’re going to build this airplane in Seattle.”

Boeing said it will build the 777X where it makes the most sense. Washington is still in the mix, and possibly still at the top of the list, but other states are coming at them with their offers.

Tinseth said Boeing customers aren’t too worried about where it will be built. They just want it on time.

“The customers are really focusing on the value the airplane will bring them,” he said. “They’re focusing on, of course, the price of the aircraft. They’re focusing on the quality of the aircraft. They’re confident that we’ll be able to deliver on that.”

Despite the great first day, Airbus also took orders and commitments for 142 planes, worth about $40 billion.

Tinseth said the competition remains intense. “I think that we’re stealing the show, but there’s no question that we continue to have intense competition from Airbus,” he said. “Our work is cut out for us. We have to make sure that we can build those airplanes competitively.”

Boeing plans to start building the 777X in 2017 with first delivery to Etihad Airways in 2020.

About the Author

Chris Sullivan

Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic.

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