BOEING LAYS OUT FUTURE
Radical Changes Ahead for Boeing Aircraft
By Ginny Parker
The Associated Press
T O K Y O, Nov. 28 — The Boeing Co. plans radical changes in the way it designs and builds planes to reduce costs by as much as 50 percent, chairman Philip M. Condit said today.
The company wants to use cutting-edge technology to expand its range of products and services, Condit said, predicting a future of space-based air traffic control and planes that repair themselves.
It’s Whats Inside That Counts
Boeing is “looking for the opportunity to make major breakthroughs,” Condit said. “Most of those breakthroughs will come not in what the aircraft looks like, but in the way it is designed and built.”
Condit spoke at a press conference following a technology seminar the company held for Japanese executives, officials and technology specialists.
Japan is an important market for the aircraft manufacturer. On Monday, Boeing announced that Japan Airlines ordered eight of its 777-200ERs and three 767-300ERs worth an estimated $1.6 billion.
The extended-range planes will replace JAL’s fleet of 10 MD-11 wide-body jets. In the deal, Boeing will take the MD-11s in trade, convert the planes to freighters and deliver them to United Parcel Service.
JAL is to receive its new jets between 2002 and 2004.
Future Is Bright
Condit said the company expects Boeing’s core businesses — commercial planes, military aircraft and space and communications — to grow 4 percent to 5 percent percent annually in the next few years.
Providing maintenance for U.S. military planes is one area in which the company wants to become more active. It also wants to reduce satellite launch costs by up to 90 percent.
Condit spoke optimistically about three business units created earlier this year to focus on Internet access in airplanes, development of a private air traffic control service and formation of a finance company.
“We will be a much bigger company. We will be a much more rapidly growing company,” he said.
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