Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The airplane that refuses to die

The Boeing 767, that is.

This is an interesting article:

Boeing considering new 767 freighter to counter A330-200F

And an excellent complement at Randy's Blog here:

Year of the 767

Sidebar: Besides Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, Randy Baseler, Vice President of Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is probably corporate America's highest ranking and best known blogger.

Boeing is considering enhancements to its 767-300 freighter to make it more competitive with the Airbus A330 freighter. Now the 767 is over a decade older than the A330, and the freighter variant of the A330 is a brand-new model of the A330, designed to replace the A300 freighter, itself almost a decade older than the 767.

But it is amazing the 767 is even able to challenge the A330. The A330 is larger, and can carry both more volume and weight. The A330's lower deck is wider, and can carry more and larger containers. That the 767 is still competitive against the larger A330 points to much deeper problems with Airbus. But it also points to a company, Boeing, which is a model of aggressive competitiveness.

The way I describe it is Boeing is able to play chess while simultaneously being involved in a street fight. Playing chess is Boeing accomplishing its strategic plans. The street fight is the daily tactical selling of what Boeing has "on the truck". The chess part is the future: The 787 and the deft move to offer the derivative 747-8. The street fight is today: The numerous 737 variants, the phenomenal 777, and now the possibility of an enhanced 767F. What is interesting is an enhanced 767F could eat into production capacity for the 787, which will be produced in the same Everett Washington facility.

I think Boeing will cross that bridge when they reach it. Today it is about winning.

There are many companies who could learn a thing or two from Boeing's commercial airplane division.

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